Get the Facts
Why are we cancelling the sheriff’s contract in Antelope Valley?
Robert Fuller, Terron Boone, and Michael Thomas aren’t just names; they were family. Robert was the youngest of 5 siblings and split his time in between Antelope Valley and where his sisters lived in Arizona. He loved anime and looked sharp in a suit.
Terron was Robert’s half-brother and they always got along. They’d see each other at family events and would hang out. Terron was a father of a 7 year old little girl. His family described him as, “a good man and devoted father.” Michael Thomas was a 61 year old unarmed and disabled Black man, beloved father and community member, shot and killed in his own home on June 12, 2020 by an LASD deputy. Despite repeated and ongoing requests to LASD, city officials, and L.A. County, it has been over 37 weeks and the family has no answers, not even the bare minimum of receiving a police report.
Antelope Valley continues to grieve and mourn the loss of Robert Fuller, Terron Boone, Michael Thomas, and too many others before them. Their lives were cut short due to police brutality, body cameras mysteriously turned off, and allegations of white supremacist violence. Los Angeles Sheriff Deputies haven’t been cleared as suspects to their murders.
When they’ve spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars in overtime, and liability, it’s not clear why the force and might of the LA Sheriff’s Department haven’t devoted the full force and might to finding their murderers. We can honor the lives of Robert, Terron, and Michael while liberating Antelope Valley from the clutches of corrupt law enforcement.
Together we can Cancel the Contract and create viable alternatives for our communities and generations to come. Come join our collective call to invest in local, community-driven approaches to public safety, mental health, housing, and employment opportunities that will contribute to the reduction of the criminalization of our people.
spent every year by Lancaster on LASD
cities in Los Angeles County currently contract with LASD for policing services
3 out of 7
LA county jails are in the Antelope Valley
Together, we are calling on the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale to cancel their contracts with the Sheriff and build a community-driven approach free from law enforcement harassment and violence.
If you are committed to an alternative vision for public safety, we ask that you join us in amplifying our demands:
- Cancel the Antelope Valley Union High School District contract with the LA County Sheriff Department. The AV Union High School District spends more than $1.5 million a year on a contract with the Sheriff’s Department to police our schools. Meanwhile, our AV schools are in disrepair and the ratio of counselors to students is 330 to 1, while the recommended ratio is 250 to 1. The School District contract has expired and should not be renewed, instead we want to see those funds reinvested in school counselors, librarians, wrap around services, and after school programs.
- Call for the DOJ to open a civil rights investigation into the historical and ongoing law enforcement violence and white supremacist activities in the Antelope Valley.We were thrilled to see the Attorney General of California launch a civil rights investigation into the LA County Sheriff’s Department. But, we need to go further. The AG and the DOJ need to investigate white supremacist activity in the AV specifically, including violence committed by deputy gangs in the Sheriff’s Department. We are calling on the CA Attorney General to include a special focus on LASD’s systemic violations of the constitutional rights of the community in the cities of Palmdale, Lancaster, and unincorporated communities of the Antelope Valley in the LASD pattern or practice investigation, including: 1) Review the lack of progress and compliance on the 2015 federal Settlement Agreement2) Review the ongoing policing violence and history of white supremacy in the region; and 3) Open an independent investigation into the June 2020 killing of Michael Thomas.
- Arrest the Sheriff deputies that murdered Michael Thomas in Lancaster in June 2020.Sheriff deputy gangs have run rampant throughout our community without any accountability. Now’s the time to arrest the deputies that took our beloved community member, Michael Thomas, away from us. It won’t bring him back to us, but it will bring us a fraction of the justice his life, family, and our community deserve.
- Demand the LA County Board of Supervisors comply with the Settlement Agreement and stop using County Counsel to thwart compliance. The purpose of the Settlement Agreement was to end racist policing in the AV and make sure residents received constitutional police services. Instead, Black and Brown people in our community have been stopped, seized, and had force used on them at alarming rates. As taxpayers we are funding LA County Counsel attorneys to defend the Sheriff against complying with the federal Monitoring Team. The Board of Supervisors needs to stop using County Counsel to defend the noncompliance and do something to hold the Sheriff accountable to the Settlement Agreement and the people of the AV.
- Cancel the Palmdale and Lancaster contracts with the LA County Sheriff Department.
In the wake of the June 2020 uprising in defense of Black lives, rising white supremacist activity in the region and the country, and ongoing murders of our community members by Sheriff deputies, this is a critical opportunity to demand an end to the racist policing we receive from LA County Sheriffs. Lets reimagine community safety and build community-driven government infrastructure that truly supports and protects us.
It’s time now to be courageous and take decisive action to create a system of public safety that is aligned with the experiences and vision of our communities in the Antelope Valley.
Let’s envision a community beyond law enforcement. Let’s Cancel the Contract.
What are the alternatives?
We can have a community-driven approach that, at the minimum, doesn’t lead to the deaths of our Black and Brown sisters and brothers. We can be a place for joyous living and healing in which justice and accountability are upheld. We can use our money for increased access to mental health services, up to date equipment for firefighters, cleaning up our public parks, classroom supplies for public schools, and much more, instead of for cages and increased law enforcement presence.
In fact, we have concrete examples of reinvestment throughout the country. Boston is rerouting funds to support minority-owned businesses and trauma counseling. Austin may use money that would have been spent on policing for permanent supportive housing for the unhoused in their community. Minneapolis is in the midst of a community-driven process that will “create a transformative new model for cultivating safety.” Just across town, the LA City Council passed a measure to replace police officers with community-based responders for non-violent calls.
A community free from law enforcement violence is within our reach.
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