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The Oakland City Council recently approved the city’s mid-cycle budget, which goes into effect tomorrow. Though it fell short of calls to defund the Oakland Police Department, it did move roughly 3% of OPD’s budget, $14.3 million, to alternative safety measures. 

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The Oakland City Council voted on a new budget Tuesday with minimal cuts to the Oakland Police Department budget amidst protests for defunding the OPD. 

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Leaders at BART have pledged to shift $2 million from sworn officers and fare inspectors to unarmed ambassadors. These staff would wear uniforms and patrol the trains unarmed.

On this edition of Your Call’s media roundtable, we're speaking with FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith about The Virus: What Went Wrong, a new documentary that traces the Trump administration’s failure to prepare and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Oakland councilmembers are proposing serious changes to their police department budget.

Photo courtesy of The Daily Mail/photo modified from original

  In the news recently, statues have been defaced and pulled down from their perches ala Saddam Hussein.

"Defund the Police" by Taymaz Valley, used under CC license, resized and cropped

As protests against systemic racism and police brutality continue across the country, Bay Area cities are now considering measures to reform, defund or even dismantle their police forces.  

Civil Unrest or Redress Grievances

Jun 3, 2020

A series of protests embroil the entire country following another killing at the hands of a police officer.  Some are outraged by the loss of life, others by the destruction of property and civil unrest that followed.  

The Growing Calls To Defund Police & What That Would Look Like

Jun 3, 2020
John Minchillo / AP Photo

  On this edition of Your Call, we continue our series on the uprisings over the death of George Floyd and police brutality. According to Mapping Police Violence, from 2013 to 2019, 99 percent of killings by police did not result in officers being charged with a crime.

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A Northern California district attorney has declined to file charges against a police officer who fatally shot a 15-year-old boy in 2018. The shooting came just months after the officer and his sergeant opened fire on a 27-year-old man and killed him in 2017.

Holly J. McDede / KALW

On Christmas Eve in 1975, Vicki Hennessy worked her first shift inside a San Francisco jail. Decades later, she went on to be elected San Francisco’s first female sheriff.

Peg Hunter

UPDATE: 8/7/2019: Jose Armando Escobar-Lopez has been released from immigration detention
 

Since the start of August, activists have been protesting in front of San Francisco’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement headquarters. It's one of a month-long series of protests, part of what they’re calling the Month of Momentum, shedding light on ICE raids that happen in cities across the country.

Holly J. McDede / KALW

After Stephon Clark was shot and killed by Sacramento police last year, state lawmakers proposed a bill to change the law around when officers can open fire. Activists rallied behind the bill. But when strictest stipulations of the bill were removed to win over law enforcement groups, some withdrew their support. Assembly Bill 392 has now passed the Senate Floor, and California's Governor is expected to sign it. 

Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

One year ago today, two police officers shot and killed an unarmed black man, Stephon Clark, in his grandmother’s backyard in Sacramento.

Steve Baker / Used under CC BY-ND 2.0 / cropped

A new law went into effect this year, requiring police to release certain disciplinary records. But some police unions are fighting to keep records hidden.

 

22-year-old Oscar Grant was killed by a BART police officer ten years ago this month. His death led to calls for reform of BART’s police department. Ten years later, has that reform happened? And has it worked?

Your Kids Have Rights at School II

Nov 14, 2018

  We resume our series, "Your Kids Have Rights at School." What about police investigation, speech, search and interrogation issues in the school-house setting? We go on to consider applicability of the phrase, BONG HITS 4 JESUS. Host Jeff Hayden welcomes Rick Halpern, Juvenile Court Managing Attorney, Private Defender Program of the San Mateo County Bar Association, and James Wade, Assistant San Mateo County District Attorney, who recently completed assignment as Deputy in Charge of the Juvenile Division, San Mateo County District Attorney's Office. Questions for Rick and James?

99% Invisible: The Blazer Experiment

Nov 9, 2018

In 1968, Menlo County, California hired a new Police Chief.  His name was Victor Cizanckas.  With tensions running high between the police and the community, Chief Cizanckas decided to institute a number of new reforms that would alleviate those tensions.  One of those changes was trading in the old, pseudo-military, dark blue police uniform for a less intimidating and aggressive look: slacks, a dress shirt and tie, and blazer ... 

How can we fight racial, gender biases we don't know we have?

Oct 11, 2018


  On this edition of Your Call, we talk with filmmaker Robin Hauser. In her new documentary “Bias,” Hauser explores the science around implicit bias and the people finding ways to mitigate it.

Police, Justice and Community

Aug 22, 2018

  Your Legal Rights host Jeff Hayden welcomes John L Burris and Carlos Bolanos for a discussion about inclusiveness and community.  With law offices in Oakland (johnburrislaw.com) Mr Burris, known as  is both a civil rights activist and police misconduct lawyer, is active in the community as well as in the courtroom.  San Mateo County Sheriff Carlos Bolanos has previously served as Chief of the Redwood City Police Department, after serving the cities of Palo Alto and Salinas; he is also active in the Rotary Club and in the Redwood City and San Mateo County communities. Questions for John an

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On this edition of Your Call: Now that marijuana is legal in California, who will benefit? And how will racially biased drug laws change?

  

The United States is more segregated than it was in the 1980s. Black and Latinx students are more likely to attend so-called majority-minority schools where 60 percent or more of students live in poverty.

Incidents of police misconduct here in the Bay Area and nationwide have fueled widespread public concern. That’s what inspired filmmaker Pete Nicks to make his documentary movie “The Force,” which is out right now.

In the new documentary The Force, an Oakland police officer tells new recruits, “I don’t want bad cops. Period. I don’t need them.” In the film, director Peter Nicks follows the Oakland Police Department over two years.

Andy Bosselman

In the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, the San Francisco Police Department may be preventing injection drug users from getting clean needles. That could violate the department’s own guidelines — and have deadly consequences.

BERKELEY POLICE DEPARTMENT

 

Police reform is a polarizing issue.

Your Call: Jeff Sessions transforming the Department of Justice

Jun 1, 2017
Photo by Barry Bahler. Used under CC by US Department of Homeland Security


How is US Attorney General Jeff Sessions reshaping the Department of Justice and national policies?

Cropped and reused from Wikimedia Commons: http://bit.ly/2oIWUnD

The murder rate across Bay Area cities has risen in the last two years, reflecting national trends. But, when a homicide happens in the city of Richmond, the chances that the assailant will be arrested are pretty low. In fact, the city has the second lowest clearance rates for homicides in the state of California. Why is that? And what’s being done about it?

Ben Trefny

When William Scott was sworn in to lead San Francisco’s police department in January, he became a rare chief for the city —one hired from outside the ranks.

The City of San Jose, CA's Office of the Independent Police Auditor -- A Watchdog Department, Independent of the Police Department, for the Public's Complaints of Police Misconduct, Policies, etc. (This is one of similar positions throughout the United States).In Family Law, this is used for police failure to enforce restraining &/or custody orders.

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