AOUON is a project of Legal Service for Prisoners With Children (LSPC)
Their demonstration was peaceful — done with official permission — and less spontaneous than recent explosive protests and riots triggered by the brutal murder of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man in Minnesota, at the hands of police officers.
But it wascharged with strong
“You mess with our children, I’ll come running,” said Yolanda Banks, the mother of Sahleem Tindle, who a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officer killed on Jan. 3, 2018. He was 28.
“I have to march,” Banks continued. “We fight together.”
Banks frequently joins other grieving African American families from around California who have lost loved ones to police violence for rallies and vigils like the one AOUON held in Sacramento.
Participants arrived from Riverside, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Bakersfield, Vallejo, Richmond, Oakland, San Francisco, and other places in the state. Most of the people in attendance were people who have been impacted by police violence.
On the front steps of the State Capitol, large black-and-white photos of people of color who have been victims of police deadly forcewere on display. According to AOUON, police violence has claimed the lives of 600 peoplein California over the last five years
Asale-Haquekyah Chandler (pronounced “Ah–SAH-lah”) made the trip east to Sacramento from San Francisco to support Banks and the other families involved with “Stop Killing Us.” Chandler is hosting the “One Life Walk: A Silent Walk Parade Protest” in downtown San Francisco July 28.
Chandler, who ran unsuccessfully for theSan
The young men 20, 21, and 22 years of age were giving her son a ride back to his job when four gunmen surrounded the car they were in and opened fire.
Locally, around the Bay Area, the crime, which took place on Jan. 9, 2015, has been dubbed the “San Francisco 4.” Chandler said she and Banks (the two women knew each other well before their sons died) attended the event because see themselves as“fighters of justice and equality for all of our lives,” she said.
“We were fighting way before these children were murdered,” Chandler said. “So, the uniqueness we’re bringing to the table was meant to be. Though I hate to say it — because we lost (our children). My child was killed by the community and her child was killed by the police. We didn’t want to be in this club (mothers of children violently killed). But we are the right ones to be in this club.”
Banks, who lives on a rural farm in Calaveras County, told California Black Media (CBM) that the events that AOUON stage are “painful but therapeutic.”
AOUON and LSPC’s policy director Ken Oliver said the prison inmate-support organizations side with ACA 6.
“Yes, we support ACA 6,” Oliver told the large crowd at the rally. “We have 40 thousand people out here who can’t vote. So, understand when we talk policy. I have 80 thousand sitting behind the wall right now, I have eight million in California that have felony convictions, I have neighborhoods that are suffering. People can’t get jobs, and I have people out here getting killed by the police. That’s going to change.”
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