By Nick Domenici
SACRAMENTO – Over the past nearly three weeks, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets in cities across the U.S. and the world to protest systematic racism and police violence after a man named George Floyd died in Minneapolis from deadly force used by a police officer.
In support of racial justice for not just Floyd but also Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and other innocent Black folks—including Stephon Clark and others in Sacramento, virtually all of the protests nationwide have been peaceful.
But there was isolated looting in many cities.
In Dept. 62 here in Sacramento Superior Court, courtesy of Zoom live streaming, defendant Delbert L. Allen went before Judge Michael Savage for his initial hearing on allegations of burglary, during a state of emergency, better known as looting under California Penal Code section 463 (a).
The incident took place on June 1, 2020, at a T-Mobile Location in Sacramento County. The details aren’t clear of what items were stolen and the value of the items. But the act took place during protests, where Allen allegedly participated in illegal acts.
According to his past run-ins with the law, the defendant lacked a criminal history for more than 15 years. His last conviction was vandalism of over $1,000 in damages, but that happened way back in 2004.
Allen, 36, apparently has a passion for music and one day would like to earn a bachelor’s degree in music, specifically jazz. Along with this, he lives with his sister and two nephews while working a full-time job. He explained he has learned not to engage in criminal activity from his past, but in this occasion he acted out of frustration.
Judge Savage—who has not been so tolerant in previous pretrial hearings during the pandemic—did grant the defendant a release from custody, to come back for a preliminary hearing on July 15 in Department 9.
Public Defender Teresa Huang suggested she hopes to get a misdemeanor, with a portion of the sentence involving community service for Allen, on this issue.
But Deputy District Attorney Cody Winchester said careless acts should deserve a harsher penalty.
To sign up for our new newsletter – Everyday Injustice – https://tinyurl.com/yyultcf9