Support Police Chief Magnus
The race-bias trial against the city and Police Chief Chris Magnus has been on since mid-January and may go as much as another two months. It has cost the city millions and has had the police department in turmoil for the past several years.
|Chief Magnus |
photo: Joseph Schell in EastBay Express article
And we always take race-bias charges very seriously.
Here is how the Contra Costa Times summarizes the trial:
MARTINEZ -- Either a group of black police managers is trying to burn a reform-minded boss, or the chief of police in one of the Bay Area's most diverse cities is a racist.
Those were the competing narratives laid out Tuesday in a race-bias lawsuit that has dogged the Richmond Police Department for five years.
Attorneys for the seven black police managers who are plaintiffs painted Chief Chris Magnus and his now-retired second-in-command Lori Ritter as racists who created a work environment reminiscent of the Jim Crow South.
The city's defense team characterized the plaintiffs as liars bent on sabotaging their new chief because of his insistence on making upper-level management conform to his progressive, community-oriented plan for the department.
In our view Chief Magnus has done an exemplary job of reorganizing a troubled and often corrupt police department into one which uses an effective model of community policing, rightfully promotes minorities into positions of real influence in our diverse community, and has established an open relationship with the community. He has made these strides against internal cliques in the police department which resisted reorganization and whose concern seems protection of exceptionally high salaries including overtime for some at the expense of others. We got a taste of this with the racist political mailings of 2008, and the disgusting personal attacks on candidates McLaughlin and Beckles in 2010 sponsored by the Richmond Police Officers Association (another clique in the department).
In this world the law mandates the police with protecting the status quo and those in power. There have been issues when we disagree with Chief Magnus and the RPD, but we have always found him to be principled, fair, and willing to listen. He always looks for solutions that move Richmond forward.
Because the City is involved in the suit, City staff and Council members cannot speak out on the issues in the trial. But we believe that community members should show their support for Chief Magnus.
Chief Magnus will be on the stand this week Tuesday through Thursday and probably next week also. Hours are 9:30 to Noon and 1:30 to 4:30.
725 Court Street, Department 17
The trial is open and one way we can show support is by being in the court room. Many community members have already showed their support by sitting on the side of the courtroom behind the defense table. The press has noticed this support.
The trial itself is very interesting both in how its conducted and the content. You can learn a lot about Richmond and different views of policing. There is security at the court house and you will have to go through metal detectors.
You can add your voice and support to the discussion by posting comments to articles in the Contra Costa Times or the Richmond Confidential
There is also a website run by supporters of Chief Magnus that contains details of his accomplishments as Police Chief. You can put copies of your statement of support on a newly developed "Testimonial" page. www.WeSupportRichmond.com
I was at the trial of Chief Magnus today in Martinez. It makes a huge difference for folks to come to the trial and to sit on the defense side of the courtroom.
I urge everyone who can to come to the trial tomorrow and early next week while Chief Magnus is on the stand to show your support.
Recent News Coverage
East Bay Express 2/9, 1/9
Contra Costa Times 2/10, 2/9
San Francisco Chronicle 2/10, 2/9
Richmond Confidential 2/10, 2/9
KQED Radio 2/10 Blog