NAACP Open Letter to Sheriff Jones on Racist Meme by Former Captain

By Betty Williams

As the President of The Greater Sacramento NAACP, a very troubling situation has been brought to my attention and needs an immediate response.

It is alleged that Sacramento County Sheriff’s Captain and Rancho Cordova Chief of Police, Kate Adams, was placed on an extended administrative leave before she retired last year. I have been made aware that Captain/Chief Adams was placed on leave because she sent a racially charged text(s) pictures(s) to many other Sheriff’s Department employees. I also have been made aware of other “official” complaints against Captain/Chief Adams involving homophobic slurs. I was made aware an investigation began and stopped when Captain/Chief Adams retired.

Among some of the evidence that I have seen, is a very disturbing picture which was passed around to many Sheriff’s Department employees with comments about the picture, none of which were condemning Captain Adams from sending it or condemning the content of the picture. In the event you haven’t seen the image, let me briefly describe it to you;

“A white man who seems to be in his yard, holding a beverage can (possibly a beer) in one hand and a garden hose in the other. The water hose is on and projecting a high stream of water directly onto the back of a 6–8-year-old black boy’s head. The boy is standing in a blue plastic swimming pool and the caption on the picture is – “GO BE A (N-word Redacted) SOMEWHERE ELSE.”

Seeing what I have seen, there is no “punchline” or “funny quip” to the picture. It cannot be classified as a joke. It’s an obvious racist depiction of a grown white man degrading a young black boy just because he’s Black. Period.

I understand that Captain Adams no longer works for the Sheriff’s Department. I also understand if an employee of the Sheriff’s Department is under investigation and they retire, the investigation is stopped.

This incident is abhorrent, especially when it directly involves a Sheriff’s Captain, a high-ranking law enforcement officer, who was also serving as the Rancho Cordova Chief of Police on behalf of the Sheriff’s Department. Furthermore, there are other employees who saw this picture. Did they pass it on? What was their response? Were there complaints? Were they investigated to an outcome or did the entire investigation conveniently die for them too when Captain/Chief Adams retired? Since Adams did not get investigated to the extent of an outcome, is she allowed now to seek other opportunities of employment in law enforcement?

I am also asking, who knew? Who on the Rancho Cordova City Council knew or even saw the evidence I have seen, or has been told about it? What did, or didn’t the Sheriff, Undersheriff or Chief Deputy share with the Rancho Cordova City Council or City Manager? The same questions are asked of the Board of County Supervisors.

Most importantly, who in the Sheriff’s Department leadership was involved in the decision to stop the investigation once Captain/Chief Adams retired? Was it the Sheriff, Undersheriff or the Chief Deputy who made the decision? Was it a collective decision between everyone? Was Captain/Chief Adams allowed to retire in “good standing”. Is there documentation of the which would prevent her from being rehired with another Law Enforcement agency, or in any other law enforcement capacity? Due to the alleged allocations will Captain/Chief Adams going to be passing on the same attitudes in her new working environment? This is a major concern to me and well as Greater Sacramento NAACP.

The Greater Sacramento NAACP and I need answers NOW. We don’t need some smoke screens of deflections that coverup the truth.

Our entire community needs to face this truth that racism and intolerance have no place in Law Enforcement. To maintain successful relationships, we must continue building partnerships and build trust with our elected officials.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen that racist conduct is ignored until it reaches a level that the public becomes aware of it. Similar cases of racist texts between law enforcement officers in Los Angeles, Torrance and San Francisco should have taught us that transparency on this issue is a must.

It’s my understanding that the Sheriff’s Department passed these investigations to the County instead of handling it directly. If this is true, what possible reason could there be to pass off the investigation or any issue this important except for the purpose of either having deniability or covering up this issue? We demand answers.

The Greater Sacramento NAACP is expecting your responses immediately.

Betty Williams is the Greater Sacramento NAACP Branch President

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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  1. Alan Miller

    It is hard to imagine a more offensive picture.  It’s almost too perfect.

    If all is as accused, a concern equal to the racism would be the basic judgement of anyone who would press ‘send’ without knowing that their career had just ended, unless the consumption of an entire bottle of vodka was involved.

    1. Keith Olson

      It is hard to imagine a more offensive picture.  It’s almost too perfect.

      Agreed, if she actually sent this picture she deserves any consequences.   But as you say, it’s almost too perfect, or very stupid (no almost about it).

      1. Ron Oertel

        I find it difficult to believe that anyone would send a photo like that (with that caption).

        The fact that this is being alleged by Ms. Williams isn’t helping me to (automatically) believe it. And yet, here I was – initially ready to believe it (again).

        Also now wondering how she got ahold of the photo, and who provided it.

  2. Ron Oertel

    Betty Williams again?

    The same head of the local NAACP which incorrectly jumped to conclusions regarding a recent incident at a Sacramento school? Which fostered an environment of racially-based hatred?

    Well, I guess you’ve got to “admire” her confidence to continue writing letters after that.

    1. Ron Oertel

      O.K. – I hadn’t read the article (until now).  Sounds like the response by the sheriff’s department was appropriate in that she no longer works for them.


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