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Feature Archives

Santa Cruz is a Sanctuary City. Following the DHS/ICE raids in Santa Cruz on February 13, SCPD Chief Kevin Vogel claimed the department cooperated with DHS only because they thought the raids were to target violent gang members, and that DHS lied about their intention to detain non-criminal undocumented individuals. During deliberations to strengthen the status of Santa Cruz as a Sanctuary City at the February 28 Santa Cruz City Council meeting, however, members of the public pressured Vogel to admit that an ICE/DHS agent has not only been working closely with, but even given office space by the Santa Cruz Police Department since 2009, and was involved in the recent raids in some capacity.
About 500 people participated in the Sanctuary for All march in downtown Fresno on February 18. In their call out for the march, organizers wrote: This is the first of many responses to our Mayor’s press conference. Our undocumented community is telling us that they DO NOT feel safe after the press conference. Our county Sheriff continues a close partnership with ICE. We are committed to a Fresno culture that emphasizes the dignity and safety of every Fresnan. We will show that Fresno is a sanctuary community, and communicate to our elected officials that we expect policies and structures that represent our values!
On February 16, Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeff Rosell announced his office will not file charges against Erik Bailey, the Santa Cruz Police Department officer who shot and killed 32-year-old Sean Smith-Arlt on October 16, 2016. SCPD Officers Erik Bailey and Adam Baker were the first officers to be dispatched to a house on Chase Street that evening after residents called to report a disturbance at the home. When police arrived they say they confronted Sean, who was advancing towards them with a gardening rake. Within 20 seconds they deemed him a threat and opened fire on him.
What sounded like a garbage truck at first in the dark hours of the morning turned out to be a nightmare for many families in the Beach Flats, Lower Ocean, and Live Oak neighborhoods of Santa Cruz on Monday morning, February 13. Beach Flats residents report hearing helicopters overhead and flash grenades cast into several homes while an unidentified voice (no indication of jurisdiction) on a loudspeaker demanded that "[street address] come out with hands on head" blared. This caused confusion because [street address] is the address to the entire apartments complex.
At 8:30am on the morning of February 2, at least 80 Oakland Police raided the village. Structures were then bulldozed by the Department of Public Works (DPW). The inhumane action went against the wishes of hundreds of Oakland residents who contributed to building up the sanctuary for two weeks. Sixteen residents, half of them elderly, were displaced. An additional four guests who were seeking sanctuary for the night were also rudely awakened. Two of the evening guests who slept in The Promised Land open air living room, sought refuge because Caltrans had destroyed their encampments down the street.
Protesters and journalists have reached a tentative settlement with the City of Berkeley in a National Lawyers Guild federal civil rights lawsuit over police brutality at a December 6, 2014, racial justice protest. The plaintiffs alleged that they were clubbed and tear gassed for no reason and forcibly herded more than a mile down Telegraph Avenue, from the south campus area into Oakland. The settlement, which is expected to be approved at the February 14, 2017, Berkeley City Council meeting, includes policy changes intended to prevent a recurrence of the police misconduct, and $125,000 for seven plaintiffs.
Tue Feb 7 2017 (Updated 02/10/17)
Trump's Muslim Ban Protested Nationwide
On Friday, January 27, Donald Trump issued an executive order banning refugees and other visitors from seven predominantly Muslim countries. The following day, thousands of people began to gather at airports across the United States to protest. At San Francisco International Airport, over four thousand protesters showed up in support of migrants and against the Muslim ban, virtually shutting down the airport. On Monday, courts across the nation began to weigh in, halting parts of the ban in differing regions. On February 3, a US District Court judge in Seattle ordered a nationwide stay on Trump's entire executive order.