Los Angles: Check the Sheriff!
Los Angeles, CA – On February 7, families who lost sons to Los Angeles Sheriff's killings spoke out to support the demand to strengthen civilian oversight of the LA Sheriff’s Department (LASD) at a press conference held in front of the Hall of Justice. At the event, the Check the Sheriff (CTS) coalition announced a sign-on letter by over 70 organizations calling on the LA Board of Supervisors (BOS) to move forward with an LA County charter amendment to strengthen the Civilian Oversight Commission and with the power to remove a sitting Sheriff for violation of the law.
The Check the Sheriff Coalition, led by Black Lives Matter, ACLU-SOCAL, National Lawyers Guild and Centro CSO, were able to unite over 70 multi-racial unions, community groups, religious, non-profit and socialist organizations to call on the Board of Supervisors to take action. The CTS is calling on the Board of Supervisors to place a ballot measure in the June 2022 primary elections with a charter amendment to make the Board of Supervisors permanent, strengthen its oversight of the LASD, and have the power to remove a Sheriff.
The CTS and Centro CSO is asking people to call in to the LA County Board of Supervisors and demand action by moving forward with a charter amendment. Call 888-807-2111 or 213-974-1471, or email [email protected]
A recent press releases from the CTS stated, “Los Angeles County has reached a crisis point yet again under Sheriff Villanueva. But the Board of Supervisors has yet to implement policies and structures necessary to protect against Villanueva’s repeated violations of the law and complete obstruction of oversight, his misuse of county funds to pursue his personal political agenda, his secret police unit and politically-motivated investigations intended to intimidate and harass oversight officials, the unchecked scourge of deputy gang violence that he has enabled, and the dramatic increase in deputy shootings and record-level deaths in the jails under his watch.”
Speakers at the press conference included UNITE HERE Local 11 organizer Pastor Bridie Roberts, who denounced the LASD in the killing of Andres Guardado; Stepahnie Luna (aunt of Anthony Vargas), Chiguita Twyman (sister of Ryan Twyman), Leah Garcia (mother of Paul Rea), Jamie Kizzee (cousin of Dijon Kizzee) and Emily Ordaz (daughter of David Ordaz Jr.). All the family members were killed by the LASD.
The movement for LASD accountability and community control of police is growing with more families and organizations uniting with the Check the Sheriff coalition. To get involved, contact Centro CSO at 323-943-2030, CentroCSO@gmail or @CentroCSO on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok.
Carlos Montes is a Centro CSO organizer.