Demonstrators Call for State Investigation into Court System and County Sheriff’s Departments

Henry Ortiz (left), activist Allegra Taylor (center), Tina Perry (right) and other demonstrators at the California Capital building (Photo by Robert J Hansen)

by Robert J. Hansen

Sacramento, CA – A demonstration was held at the Capital yesterday for Harvest Davidson, who has been in El Dorado County Jail since 2016, by his mother, friends and activists calling for an investigation into the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department for the mistreatment and abuse of inmates.

“I’m asking for Attorney General, Rob Bonta to be able to do an investigation against the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department and also against the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office,” Tina Perry, Davidson’s mother, said to a small group of reporters.

Perry said there are injustices in both agencies which work hand in hand.

“When you don’t cooperate with the district attorney’s office they allow their goons to be able to go after the people in El Dorado County,” Perry said. “Not just Black, but white, Hispanic, Filipino, you name it. If you don’t do it El Dorado County’s way, they are going to literally come after you.”

She says that prisoners are not let out of their cell for more than 15 minutes a day, if at all, not given time to shower and other Eighth and Sixth Amendment rights violations.

Governor Gavin Newsom walked by the demonstration turning around to wave and give a thumbs up but kept walking.

Governor Gavin Newsom walking past the group of demonstrators who were asking for a state investigation into the State’s court system and El Dorado County Sheriff’s and District Attorney’s office on November 18, 2021.

Activist Henry Ortiz yelled at the governor, “We won’t count on it,” when Newsom walked by.

“It’s time to investigate these court systems. It’s going to take all of us or none,” Ortiz said. “I’m sick and tired of not having the capacity to help all our families.”

Ortiz said people from San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Placer, Sacramento and El Dorado counties tell them of unfair sentences and coercion into accepting guilty sentences for crimes not committed.

“We’re asking Rob Bonta, we’re asking Governor Newsom and our legislators, we need to address the racism that exists within our court system,” Ortiz said.

Attorney Kellie Walters told reporters that there are orchestrated fights happening within CDCR.

“This has been going on since the 90’s at least where there’s orchestrated fights going on. Organized specifically by the correctional officers and other staff,” Walters said.

Davidson is facing charges from a January 2016 robbery that turned into murder but initial defense attorneys challenged whether murder charges under felony murder law should apply in this case.

The Davis Vanguard reported that in January 2016, the victim brought 100 pounds of marijuana to a South Lake Tahoe hotel with plans to sell it. When the buyer pulled out, two men attempted to rob them in the parking lot and the victim was shot and killed.

The police ended up arresting a host of people, including Harvest Davidson.

“When Harvest and I decided not to take DA Trish Keller deals starting with 25 to life, 15 yrs, 12 yrs and finally 9 yrs, DA Trish Keller, Detective Sentil and two other detectives took me to a back room and stated ‘since you not going to help the defense I’m going to try your son for Capital murder with special circumstances,” Perry said.

Perry says the psychological toll has almost been unbearable at times but tries to stay strong for her son.

“There have been days where I have just wanted to give up with everything and the only thing that has given me the strength is knowing God is on my side,” Perry said.

Davidson is expected at court today where his attorney will ask for the case to be dismissed. If not dismissed, his attorney will request over 4,000 pages of discovery that has not been disclosed by the prosecuting deputy district attorney.

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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