Category: In The News

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San Francisco Police Chief William Scott announced Wednesday that his department would end an agreement with the district attorney’s office to cooperate on investigations of police shootings and other incidents.

The agreement, which was signed in July, was meant to ensure that police shootings, deaths of people in custody and other uses of force that result in serious injury would be independently investigated.

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In the January 2022 episode of Discussions with DPIC, Contra Costa County, California District Attorney Diana Becton (pictured), speaks with Death Penalty Information Center Executive Director Robert Dunham about the rise in reform prosecutors across the country, the inherent flaws in capital punishment that led her to work alongside other reform prosecutors to end the death penalty, and her efforts as district attorney to bring fairness and equity to the criminal legal system.

Becton is the first woman and first African American to serve as District Attorney in Contra Costa. Prior to becoming District Attorney in 2017, she served for twenty-two years as a judge in the county, where she was elected as the Contra County court’s Presiding Judge. She discusses with Dunham how her lived experiences shape how she sees her role as a District Attorney, the pushback against reform prosecutors who are women of color by those interested in maintaining the status quo, and the larger national movement to change America’s approach to criminal justice.

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“District attorneys around the country are investigating officers in cases their predecessors had handled, raising the ire of police unions that say it undermines public safety…”

 

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Retail thefts ratchet up reformers’ rhetoric

A series of seemingly orchestrated, stunningly brazen smash-and-grabs have hammered stores in the Bay Area and Los Angeles over the past few weeks, frightening retailers and putting elected officials on...

Bay Area District Attorneys to Form Alliance Against Organized Retail Theft

In response to recent organized theft schemes seen across the Bay Area, several Bay Area district attorneys created an alliance to ensure suspects face proper accountability, San Mateo County District...

Increasing homicides in Oakland leaving families and community traumatized

OAKLAND - When it happened, Sheri Roberson didn’t know how to break the tragic news to her 4-year-old daughter Azaria. But after talking with counselors and her faith community, she eventually found...

Who is a crime victim? California recall election intensifies painful divide over reform

Marc Klaas remembers when victims’ advocates like him wielded unchallenged influence in California — courted by elected leaders of both parties, pivotal in the enactment of the state’s “three strikes”...

I have been familiar with violence all of my life. In fact, nearly all the people I know — folks with brown skin, or who are Black like me — are survivors of some kind of violence or crime. We are, however, also afflicted by a criminal justice system that has long viewed us with indifference at best. At worst, it meets us with hostility — and that creates a problem. Because a criminal justice system is supposed to resolve conflict, not perpetuate it.

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SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office announced on August 25 they filed an amicus brief in the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, in support of the class action lawsuit brought by Kiara Ferrari Caldwell against Bad Boys Bail Bond Corporation.

 

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If You Want to Reform the Police, Get Prosecutors on Your Side

George Floyd’s murder sparked a renewed national conversation around police reform, but progress in the year since his death has been stop-and-go. Reform at the federal level has languished in...