Stop unjustified police shootings in four simple steps
Originated and proposed by me, Eldon James Brown, the “All Star Activist”
- 1) Prohibit police departments from investigating themselves and establish independent citizen review boards comprised of public members chosen at random from every group, rotated regularly, limited to one term of service.
- 2) Take prosecutorial discretion away from District Attorneys. When it has been determined that enough probable cause exists to justify filing criminal charges, those criminal charges must be filed. As it stands now, District Attorneys are loath to bite the hand that feeds them. Without police cooperation, a DA’s career goes nowhere. Biggest conflict of interest I know of.
- 3) Make the Officer personally liable for their own actions, not the city or the taxpayer. If a cop kills or injures someone, let the family sue that officer personally in court. As it is now, there is no risk for bad behavior because they have immunity, the money doesn’t come out of their own pockets. The homeowners and businesses of that city pay instead.
- 4) Require all cops that interact with the public to wear body cameras. Require that the audio and video from those cameras be curated in perpetuity by a separate and impartial entity not connected to the department nor the city in any way. Take control of the body cameras out of the hands of the individual officers, as of now they can just turn them off when about to do something dirty. Where misconduct is charged, make all videos publicly available immediately following the investigation but prior to rendering a final decision. Waive any privacy concerns (too important).
Institute these steps as policy across the nation and you will see an end to brutality and misconduct, or at the very least a dramatic reduction. Simple, but not easy to accomplish. Police unions will fight to the death and they wield a formidable amount of political power. It can be done however, if enough people care and stand up.
If you really want to get to the heart of the matter, make community policing just that. Require that every qualified person receive academy training and then rotate the responsibility among every citizen. Training could start in high school. Everyone is a cop then. Israel and Switzerland do it, the model is proven.
Contra Costa County deputy fired shots at Sacramento house party
Deputy was at house party when he repeatedly fired one of his two handguns after being confronted by two heroic neighbors, police say. Deputy charged with five counts of attempted murder and fired from department.
Friday, January 13th, 2017
A Contra Costa County sheriff’s deputy was arrested Friday in connection with a shooting at a Sacramento house party, Sacramento police said.
Kyle E. Rowland, 23, was booked into the Sacramento County Jail on five counts of attempted murder and is being held without bail, according to jail records. No one was hurt in the shooting.
Rowland was a deputy with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office when the shooting happened, but was fired soon after his arrest, the office said.
The shooting happened before 2 a.m. Friday in the 1100 block of G Street during a party that was attended by between 10 and 30 people, officials said.
“We were having a couple of friends over for a holiday party,” resident Joseph Lozoya said. “The neighbor came over, very cordial, very nice.”
No one at the party had ever seen Rowland before but he lived next door and brought over beer, so they let him in.
So, Rowland was kicked out of the house twice.
“As he was leaving, he was saying, ‘I’m going to come back. I know where you live, I’ve been watching you,'” Lozoya said.
Rowland soon returned with a gun, and people at the party tried to taken it from him.
Ran Alberto witnessed the shooting.
“That’s when I told my girlfriend to stay inside because he was just firing everywhere while he was getting tackled,” Alberto said. “I remember when he was already on the ground, he was still pulling the trigger.”
Eventually, Rowland was restrained until police arrived and arrested him, McPhail said.
Two firearms were also recovered from the scene, police said.
Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Jimmy Lee said in a statement Sunday that Rowland joined the sheriff’s office in October and was on probationary status.
“He was on probationary status and his employment has been terminated,” Lee said.
The sheriff’s office knew about the arrest Friday morning, Lee said.
“We take this matter seriously,” he added.
McPhail said Rowland lives in Sacramento and was employed with the sheriff’s office at the time of the shooting.
The Sacramento Police Department and the Contra Costa Sheriff’s Office are working together on the case. They are trying to determine if any of the weapons are department-issued.
Witnesses said Rowland was drinking. Investigators are waiting on blood test results to see if he had drugs in his system.
Rowland is an award-winning harmonica player and is considered well-known in Northern California.
No other details were available.
A prominent Sacramento blues musician who performed first as a 10-year-old was arrested early Friday after firing a gun during a downtown Sacramento house party, police said.
Kyle Rowland, 23, of Sacramento was charged with five counts of attempted murder after firing a weapon at the house party in the 1100 block of G Street just before 2 a.m., said Matthew McPhail, Sacramento Police Department spokesman. McPhail said Rowland was left the party for a short time and returned with two guns. Only one was fired, and no one was injured.
“Investigators think that it was not an accidental firing of the weapon,” McPhail said.
Police officers recovered two firearms, McPhail said. Several partygoers detained Rowland before police arrived, McPhail added.
Rowland plays the harmonica and sings for the Kyle Rowland Blues Band, a local favorite that has frequented the Sacramento area since 2010. On its website, Biscuits and Blues Restaurant and Bar in San Francisco describes the band’s music as a “boisterous Chicago and swampy Texas blues with a pinch of West Coast swing.”
The band frequents the Torch Club cocktail bar on 15th Street and has played at the Sacramento Music Festival and the Woodbridge Winery for the Reds, Whites, and Blues Festival, among other events.
Rowland won the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame award for Best Blues Harmonica and Blues New Artist of the Year in 2009.
Rowland was working as a sheriff’s deputy at the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office but was dismissed after his arrest.
Jan Kelley, editor of the Sacramento Blues Society newsletter, said Sunday that Rowland is “well-loved” in the local music community.
“This is quite a shock,” Kelley said. “He is a young guy that we have all seen grow up. We were so proud of him for being a deputy.”
She said Rowland broke into the blues scene when he was just 10 years old and attending the Sacramento Music Festival. Local blues musician Mick Martin spotted Rowland in the crowd, playing his harmonica as he stood on a chair, and then invited him on stage, Kelley said.
She added that Martin has been his mentor since that day.
Rowland was booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail. A bail amount has not been posted.
The Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department said Rowland joined as a deputy in October and was on probationary status.