(1) Pass PrOTECT, a policy that seeks to limit the use of discretionary stops and searches by police;
(2) Discontinue law enforcement responses to low-level and "quality of life" offenses and invest in community-based alternatives to respond to crises by divesting money from police budgets;
(3) Establish an independent community oversight board with investigatory and subpoena powers;
(4) Adopt a robust de-escalation policy; and
(5) Enact strong use of force policies that require officers to intervene when other officers violate that policy.
The right to peacefully protest is guaranteed by our Constitution. Every San Diegan should feel safe exercising that right without fear of repercussion or violence.
It is the sworn duty of the police to protect your First Amendment right to protest. If you believe your rights have been violated, report the injustice to MoGo. If you have photo or video evidence of police actions from the protests, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On April 13th, MoGo sent the San Diego Mayor and Chief of Police a demand letter urging them to issue a written order and immediately suspend their sweeps and the ticketing for “quality of life” offenses of persons who are experiencing unsheltered homelessness. Read the demand letter below.
We, the undersigned, call on Governor Gavin Newsom and California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary Ralph Diaz to protect the health of all Californians by immediately releasing people from CDCR custody.
The recent policy change that would allow some people in prison with 180 days or less to complete on their sentences to be released early on community supervision is a step in the right direction. However, to truly meet this unprecedented moment will require stronger and far-reaching action.
COVID-19 is currently raging through San Quentin State Prison. On June 1st, San Quentin had its first positive test. Now more than 500 people in the prison have been infected. The exponential growth is hardly unique to San Quentin. From Chino to Corcoran, prisons up and down the state of California have experienced similar outbreaks. Across the country, consistently, the list of the top ten COVID-19 hotspots is dominated by prisons and jails.
There are several policy changes that CDCR could take right now to fight the virus and protect public health. We respectfully urge you to take the following concrete steps:
1) Immediately release anyone with less than a year left to serve. These are people who are anticipated to rejoin the community in a few short months. Forestalling their release, given the present circumstances, is shortsighted and will unnecessarily endanger those who are awaiting release and the loved ones they will be rejoining;
2) Grant early release to those who are most vulnerable – people 60 years of age or older and those with serious health conditions. For those who are most at risk from this pandemic, the situation could not be more dire – they feel the walls closing in around them and fear that each new day will be the day that they contract the virus that could kill them;
3) Develop early parole procedures for anyone with less than three years to serve. Using the same infrastructure as current parole review, with a preference towards release, more people could be safely released. Supervision in the community better protects the health of that community than confining people in closed quarters where CDC guidelines are impossible to follow.
The pandemic is demanding more of all of us than we could have imagined a few short months ago. Everyone has had to make dramatic and often painful adjustments. Acting according to old assumptions or trying to cling to old ways of thinking is not only inadequate, it will cost us lives. We must stretch beyond what we thought was possible and save as many people as we can.
There have been positive steps, but more must be done. This virus is burning through our prisons. People under the care of this state are crying out for help. Protecting them – saving their lives – is a duty we all share.
Governor Newsom, in ordering a moratorium on the death penalty, stated, “The intentional killing of another person is wrong and as Governor, I will not oversee the execution of any individual.” COVID-19 has now killed more people in California prisons than the last 44 years of death sentences combined.
We must not replace a system of intentional state killing with a system of killing through neglect.
We urge you to once again take bold action and save lives.