In the midst of a series of high-profile shootings of unarmed black men by law enforcement officers in Oakland, the NAACP California held a forum today to address alleged police brutality. Attendees included Ron Dellums, Jean Quan, Police Chief Anthony Batts, and NAACP President Benjamin Jealous. Here's a report from KQED's Cy Musiker:
One of those Cy talked to was a criminal defense attorney from Richmond named Linda Fullerton.
Fullerton explained that she counsels her clients to "keep your mouth shut, keep your hands out so that the police can tell you're not reaching for a weapon. Act like the puppy with the tail between your legs so you do not appear at all dangerous."
Earlier today, Oakland police said that the FBI has agreed to investigate the shooting of Derrick Jones.
Jones, 37, was shot and killed by officers who said they thought he was reaching for a weapon in his waistband during a chase. Jones was later found to be unarmed.
Oakland Local provides more details of the incident in this editorial today:
Jones’ November 8th killing occurred after two officers were dispatched regarding a domestic violence complaint. As officers Eriberto Perez-Angeles and Omar Daza-Quiroz approached, they saw Jones running away while holding a small electronic metal scale. Sayng they believed that the scale was a gun, Perez-Angeles and Daza-Quiroz ended Jones’ life with an multiple gunshots.
The slaying exacerbated the already fraught relations between law enforcement and the city's African-American community after the shooting death of Oscar Grant, another unarmed black man, by BART policeman Johannes Mehserle in 2009. Yesterday, KQED freelancer Andrew Stelzer reported on that aspect of the case, which is also alluded to in this Nov 10 KGO report:
On Tuesday, Oakland's Public Safety Committee devoted a significant portion of its meeting to the Jones shooting. Jones' relatives attended and his uncle spoke.
You can watch an archive of that meeting here. Jones' uncle starts speaking at around 22:00.
Meanwhile, the NAACP is holding a conference today at the Jack London Aquatic Center on alleged police brutality in Oakland. The Chronicle reports that Oakland Mayor-Elect Jean Quan and Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts will attend.