Stopping STOPS: Urban Shield Vendor Vetoed Due To Racist Stereotyping

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Originally printed at: https://media-alliance.org/stopping-stops-urban-shield-vendor-vetoed-due-to-racist-stereotyping/

On August 1,the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, which has been under fire for several years over the police militarization expo Urban Shield, took its first action to enforce 12 reform principles the Board embraced in January of 2017, four months after two dozen people were arrested at the 2016 expo.

After being notified only hours before the meeting by MA executive director Tracy Rosenberg and American Friends Service Committee Wage Peace Coordinator John Lindsay-Poland of extreme racial stereotyping on the website of Urban Shield vendor Strategic Operations of San Diego, the board of supervisors refused to authorize the use of the vendor. Alameda County Sheriff Gregory Ahern’s request to contract with Strategic Operations for $45,000 in “hyper-realistic training” for the 2017 Urban Shield event failed for lack of a motion, with none of the five supervisors willing to support the request. Supervisor Keith Carson removed the item from the board’s consent calender. Supervisor Richard Valle indicated he would not vote for it and Board President Wilma Chan also spoke in opposition. 

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ICE Deported

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On July 18, the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to terminate the Oakland Police Department’s federal agreement with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), formerly known as ICE. The resolution by Council Member Rebecca Kaplan followed a unanimous recommendation from the City’s Privacy Commission which had investigated the status of all of the City’s agreements with federal law enforcement agencies.

Get all the details here

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Statewide Surveillance Transparency Ordinance (SB21) Passes 6-3

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In its last policy committee hearing in Sacramento, SB21, a statewide surveillance transparency ordinance, passed the Assembly Privacy Committee on a 6-3 vote. It now travels to Assembly Appropriations, the Assembly floor and then to the Governor’s desk.

In the hearing, law enforcement (DA and Sheriff’s Associations) and the League of CA Cities continued to state their opposition to public disclosure and community control of the use of surveillance technologies. They said a few amazing things along the way.

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The Day of Many Votes

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On July 11, a whole bunch of good things happened: Alameda’s Board of Supervisors formally convened a working group to draft a surveillance transparency ordinance for Alameda County; SB-21 (the statewide surveillance transparency ordinance) passed the Assembly Privacy committee – the last policy committee it will face and the 6th consecutive positive vote in Sacramento; and Oakland’s Public Safety committee recommended unanimously the termination of the OPD-ICE agreement and to place all other federal law enforcement agreements under the direct oversight of the City’s Privacy Advisory Commission.

Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan’s interview regarding her proposal to sever ties with ICE is here.

“Let’s have a public conversation so we can determine for ourselves where the lines are drawn,” Hofer said. (Alameda County Surveillance Ordinance)

The Oakland Public Safety Committee voted unanimously to sever ties with ICE, and reign in the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force. “Tangling local law enforcement with ICE is a threat to civil rights and safety of all people,” said Tessa D’Arcangelew, a representative of the ACLU of Northern California, which supported the legislation.

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