Community Organizations Protest Alameda County Sheriff's Office Over Abuses and Lack of Transparency
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 2, 2018
Contact: Terence Long, (510) 936-0344
Ella Baker Center Members and Community Organizations Protest Alameda County Sheriff's Office Over Abuses and Lack of Transparency
Following the Release of a Report Detailing Appalling Conditions and Systematic Dysfunction inside Alameda County Jails, Community Members are Calling for an Audit of Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern
OAKLAND, CA - On Tuesday, October 2, hundreds of activists, community members and civil rights advocates protested outside the Glenn Dyer Detention Facility in downtown Oakland to demand an audit of the Alameda County Sheriff's Office. The protests happened on the same day as the release of What’s Up With Our Jails, a report from Oakland Community Organizations that reveals multiple human rights violations and poor conditions in the Alameda County jail system.
“The disturbing facts detailed in What’s Up With Our Jails make clear that Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern is overseeing a defective agency that is harming and abusing our communities,” said Ella Baker Center Organizer and Advocate Jose Bernal. “We need the Alameda Board of Supervisors to join us in demanding accountability and calling for a full, transparent audit of the Sheriff’s Office.”
Outside the Glenn Dyer Detention Facility in downtown Oakland, activists laid out thirty-four body bags, symbolic of the thirty-four in-custody deaths that have occured under Sheriff Ahern’s watch since 2013. Then hundreds of activists took to the streets carrying banners and signs reading “All Eyes on The Sheriff” and “#AuditAhern” and marched to the Alameda Board of Supervisors Building.
While the body bags and a coffin were displayed outside the Supervisors Building, advocates and community members entered and gave public comment during the Supervisors’ meeting. Among those testifying was Barbara Doss, whose son Dujuan Armstrong died while incarcerated in Santa Rita jail in June.
“It’s been four months and we still don’t have answers,” said Barbara Doss. “Like everyone else here I feel like the Sheriff doesn’t listen to anybody. I want answers and I want someone to be held accountable for what they’ve done to my family.”
“How many more must suffer before we reform policies and performance of the Alameda County jails and Sheriff’s Office?” said Richard Speiglman, volunteer leader of Oakland Community Organizations and member of the Kehilla Community Synagogue.
To view the What’s Up With Our Jails? report, go to www.oaklandcommunity.org/ourjails
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.