Community and Local Law Enforcement Task Force - Part 1

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 Task Force meeting

One of the ongoing projects of the Freedom from Militarization Project has been following the work of the Community and Local Law Enforcement Task Force, which was created by the Board of Supervisors in the aftermath of the killing of Andy Lopez by Deputy Erick Gelhaus.


Among those appointed by the Board of Supervisors, the mayor of Santa Rosa, District Attorney Jill Ravitch and Sheriff Steve Freitas were people who appeared dedicated to maintaining the status quo


and those who would like to see significant systemic change. Unfortunately, all were (or felt they were) prohibited from that change by existing laws. The original charge was for the Task Force to come back with recommendations in three months. That was expanded to sixteen months.

There were often as many as four meetings per week and a small group of activists committed to attneding those meetings - Justice Coalition for Andy Lopez, Sonoma County Community Oversight of Police Practices (SCCOOPP), the Peace & Justice Center of Sonoma County, The Andy Lopez Memorial Free Speech Picket Line and more. Some members of the Task Force were welcoming and some much less so. Deputy Mark Essick, not as independent member, but as the Sheriff's voice and opinion, informed the media that the public in attendance did not represent the public. Former supervisor Eric Koenigshofer spoke of the people who could not attend meetings, the other 200,000 people over 18 who actually had lives and families, as opposed to the supposed losers who had time to keep an eye on their government.

More to follow.....