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From David to Tyre: No "good cops" in a racist system

The Police Accountability Task Force is part of the North Bay Organizing Project. The task force seeks to hold police accountable for their harm to our communities, to reduce their further militarization, and to provide civilians with tools for defending their rights when engaging with police.

Image taken at a vigil for Tyre Nichols in Santa Rosa's Courthouse Square. Three signs reading: "Stop police brutality." "Say his name Tyre Nichols" and "Justice 4 Tyre" rest on the UNUM sculpture and are illuminated by 5 candles. A bouquet of white flowers is nestled among the signs.
Photo: Alyn Wolves / NBOP's Police Accountability Task Force

We condemn ALL acts of police violence. We condemn the very structures that uphold colonial and white supremacist attacks. Policing in the U.S. is rooted in slavery and trading the bodily autonomy of marginalized people for profit. You can’t have police without police violence. Violence fuels the entire system.

It was six months ago that a Sonoma County deputy sheriff shot and killed local farmworker, David Pelaez Chavez. At the time he was shot, the body-cam video showed Mr. Chavez bent to the ground, likely exhausted from a 45-minutes foot chase through rough terrain while barefoot, screaming “they are going to kill me.” He was 10-15 feet away from the deputies chasing him when they shot him. He posed no threat, other than to the plantation culture of Sonoma County where grapes are more valuable than lives.

Thus, the tragedy of police violence resonates locally, as we recognize the grief faced by communities in other parts of the nation and see ourselves caught in the same patterns. The senseless murders of vibrant young souls like Tyre Nichols, Keenan Anderson, and Manuel “Tortuguita” Páez Terán reopen wounds that foment our distrust in law enforcement. We stand in solidarity with their loved ones and renew our calls for justice.

Sonoma County’s local elected and law enforcement officials claim to understand the injustice of Tyre Nichols’ killing, yet the public is still waiting on the investigation details — let alone whether officials will charge the officer responsible for Mr. Chavez’s death. Local law enforcement chiefs call Tyre’s murder “unconscionable” yet shield officers who kill our community members with the same disregard.

We organize so our children will never walk in fear of being killed by a cop.

We organize so every parent can live to see their children thrive and grow.

We organize to transform a carceral response into one that prioritizes justice and healing from systems of oppression.

We organize so that there will never be another David, Tyre, Keenan, Manuel, and the thousands of others who have been stolen from us.


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