Month: March 2022

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A group of progressive prosecutors has asked the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors to audit the disciplinary practices at the Sheriff’s Office and increase outside oversight of misconduct after KTVU first reported that the sheriff wrote a letter to staff about his disdain for a judge sentencing one of his former deputies to six years in prison after killing a man. 

“Sheriff [David] Livingston’s comments are abhorrent and indicate his belief that deputies who kill are above the law,” said Cristine Soto DeBerry, founder and director of the Prosecutors Alliance of California, which sent the letter on Monday.

“Police have wide latitude to use force, but when they unnecessarily kill they must be held accountable just like anyone else in our community,” DeBerry continued. “When we do not hold police accountable, people do not trust the legal system to protect them. That makes the job of policing more difficult and dangerous, and it makes it far less likely that crimes will be reported. That, in turn, poses a threat to everyone’s safety.”

In addition, DeBerry also told the supervisors that she and her colleagues find it very concerning that under Livingston, the Internal Affairs investigation cleared Hall from any wrongdoing. Plus, she wrote, if the sheriff is clearing deputies in cases where their use of force was criminal, “that too raises serious questions about the sheriff’s commitment to public safety and accountability.”

A crowd marched the sidewalk in Danville, chanting against the white noise of a recent rush hour. “Justice for Tyrell,” they strained to be heard. “Justice for Tyrell Wilson!”

It had been one year since Wilson was fatally shot on Sycamore Valley Road — the second man to die after an encounter with the same Contra Costa County sheriff’s deputy.

Both men were people of color struggling with mental illness in an affluent town that’s 80% white — factors that thrust the cases into the national discussion around race, mental health and policing. The killings brought to light a familiar trend: In Bay Area suburbs, reactions to police shootings tend to be more muted, and there generally are fewer oversight mechanisms to identify problem officers.

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Press Release: Prosecutors Alliance Asks Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors to Provide Oversight and...

MARTINEZ – Today, in a letter to the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, the Prosecutors Alliance of California asked for an audit of the disciplinary practices in Sheriff Livingston’s...

SACRAMENTO — Out state Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) introduced Senate Bill 1228, the Genetic Privacy for Sexual Assault Victims Act. SB 1228 is sponsored by San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, the Prosecutors Alliance of California, and sexual assault survivors.

SB 1228 protects sexual assault survivors and other victims by prohibiting the retention of DNA profiles collected from victims by local law enforcement agencies — including rape kits for sexual assault survivors. It also prohibits victims’ DNA from being used for any purpose other than identifying the perpetrator of the crime. Thus, a victim’s DNA could not be used in the future against the victim.

These protections help ensure the privacy of sexual assault survivors and promote public safety by encouraging survivors to report sexual violence. If a sexual assault survivor believes their rape kit DNA can be used against them in the future, they will have one more reason not to come forward and undergo an invasive rape kit examination.

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Press Release: Legislation Introduced to Protect Sexual Assault Survivor DNA

SACRAMENTO — Today, Senate Bill 1228, authored by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and sponsored by the Prosecutors Alliance of California, was introduced to regulate police use of sexual assault...