by Cat Brooks
Posted on August 20, 2017
Black Lives Matter Leader Tanya Faison of Sacramento, CA has come under attack by Sheriff Scott Jones of Sacramento County. Late last week, in response to a planned Black Lives Matter protest, Sheriff Jones put out a statement wherein he stated that he didn’t have a problem with “Black Lives Matter but rather Tanya Faison.” In this official statement he fabricated numerous accusations against Ms. Faison.
The Justice Teams Network, a coalition of organizations across the state of California that are rapidly responding to instances of police violence, want Sheriff Jones to know that if he has an issue with Tanya Faison… he has an issue with all of us. We operate in coalition and support the work and efforts of allies across the state whom also believe that those who are paid under the guise of protecting and serving should not beat and kill with impunity.
We all have a duty to speak out against the kinds of violence that community members of Sacramento County are experiencing at the hands of local law enforcement agencies. Sheriff Jones has that same duty. But instead of calling out rogue police, the Sheriff has chosen to engage in a smear campaign against Ms. Faison that is meant to do nothing other than silence and intimidate her.
Sacramento has one of the worst records of police terror in California. In just 2017, Sacramento sheriff’s deputies have killed and abused Patricia Hill, Mikel McIntyre, Ryan Ellis, Armani Lee, and Nandi Cain.
In the current climate of emboldened white supremacy and brutal acts of violence happening across this country – including Nazi rallies in Sacramento – this is no time for an elected official to enact a smear campaign against activists in the community. Sheriff Jones’ statement places community members in the dangerous crosshairs of rogue police and violent white supremacists.
Sheriff Jones must retract his statement immediately and cease and desist from any further targeted statements against Ms. Faison. Given the high levels of police violence in Sacramento, he has plenty of work to do reigning in his violent police force.