Ella Baker Center Members Disrupt California Lottery Commission Meeting, Call for Alameda Sheriff Accountability

Ella Baker Center Members Disrupt California Lottery Commission Meeting, Call for Alameda Sheriff Accountability

As demands for an audit of the Sheriff’s Office grow, community members, leaders and advocates traveled to Sacramento to confront the Lottery Commission Chair, Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern

CONTACT:  Terence Long (510) 936-0344

Sacramento, California -- Dozens of Alameda County residents disrupted a meeting of the California Lottery Commission to confront Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern, who is the Commission Chair.

Members of the Ella Baker Center, Causa Justa, Urban Peace Movement, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), Human Impact Partners, California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance (CIYJA), Public Health Justice Collective, National Lawyers Guild, and EBASE along with other activists, carried signs and banners into the meeting to demand answers as to why the sheriff’s budget continues to increase despite a decreasing jail population and mounting civil rights and abuse charges against Alameda County deputies.

“You’ve refused to meet with us, so we had to come all the way to Sacramento to talk to you,” said Barbara Doss, whose son Dujuan Armstrong died while in custody in Santa Rita jail in June, 2018. “I wasn’t told until two days after my son died in Ahern’s jail. It’s been seven months and my family still doesn’t have any answers. I’m going to get justice for my son and until I do, I’m going to be Ahern’s worst nightmare.”

In front of cameras, Sheriff Ahern agreed to meet with community members and claimed that he supports and fully accepts an independent performance and financial audit of his department.  

“Rather than thoroughly investigate the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, the county has rewarded it with ever increasing sums of money. This era of no accountability has gone on too long, and that’s why we’re calling for a full and transparent independent financial and performance audit.” said Jose Bernal, Senior Organizer and Advocate at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in Oakland.

In a recent op-ed published by the San Jose Mercury News, Bernal described the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office misconduct, which has “ranged from excessive force and neglect, to racial discrimination, to the illegal recording of privileged attorney-client conversations, leaving in its wake dead bodies, grieving families and costly lawsuits.”

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The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, located in Oakland, was founded in 1996 by Van Jones, Diana Frapier and Mike McLoone. The Ella Baker Center is named after Ella Baker, a brilliant, black hero of the civil rights movement. Following in her footsteps, we organize with Black, Brown, and low-income people to shift resources away from prisons and punishment, and towards opportunities that make our communities safe, healthy, and strong.