KPFA Evening News

Tasers in Berkeley?

KPFA Weekend News, 10.10.2015

Both the Richmond and BART Police Departments sent taser advocates to the 10.06.2015 Berkeley City Council hearing, but neither is an exemplar of responsible taser use. BART officer Johannes Mehserle claimed to have mistaken his gun for his taser after he shot and killed Black teenager Oscar Grant, and Richmond officer Kristopher Tong tasered Black teenager Andre Little in the testicles.

Berkeley Copwatch to challenge Berkeley City Council re Kayla Moore's death in custody

KPFA Evening News, 04.28, 2013

KPFA Evening News Anchor David Landau: It's been two and a half months since Berkeley resident Kayla Moore died in police custody, after what the police first Kayla Moore reported as a call for a mental health evaluation. Moore was an African American transgendered woman. The Berkeley Police still have not released a report. Nor have they lifted their hold on release of the Alameda County Coroner's report on the cause of her death. KPFA's Ann Garrison spoke to Berkeley Copwatch founder Andrea Prichett, who said that Copwatch will be at the Berkeley City Council meeting to demand answers this coming Tuesday.   

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Andrea Prichett, why is Berkeley Copwatch headed for the Berkeley City Council meeting next Tuesday?

Andrea Prichett: We're calling on people to converge on the City Council meeting this Tuesday, April 30th, because we want the City Council to take charge of the Police Department. And what we mean by that is it's time for the Berkeley Police Department to release some information about what happened to Kayla Moore that night. They've had two and a half months to conduct their investigation and to gather their information and to analyze that information and to make a Andrea Prichett of Berkeley Copwatch finding. That's fine. If they wanta drag their feet, we really don't care. But we do want them to release the police report. We also are calling on the City Council and the City Manager to have the Chief of Police withdraw the hold on the coroner's report that they have placed with the Alameda County Coroner. What we were told when we contacted the coroner's office was that they were not allowed to release it because the BPD put a hold on it. 

KPFA/Ann Garrison: And there's also a resolution regarding mental health on Tuesday's Berkeley City Council agenda, right? 

Andrea Prichett: Jesse Aragon, Council Member Aragon, has a proposal on the agenda, Item 31, that May be declared mental health month. Well, we're takin' up the spirit of mental health month and we 


believe that there should be an absolutely transparent examination of mental health policy, police policies related to the handling of people with mental illness, or people who are having a psychiatric episode. We believe that we should have a public discussion about that. 

KPFA/Ann Garrison: That was Andrea Prichett of Berkeley Copwatch, which will attend this Tuesday's Berkeley City Council meeting at 7 pm. 

For Pacifica, KPFA Radio, I'm Ann Garrison.

KPFA/David Landau:  And that Berkeley City Council meeting will be at Berkeley City Hall, 2134 Martin Luther King Way, Berkeley.Copwatch says they plan to be outside before the meeting begins at 7 pm. 


Victoire Ingabire and prosecutors appeal to Rwanda's Supreme Court

KPFA Evening News, 03.30.2013

Imprisoned Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire, in a Kigali courtroom KPFA Evening News Anchor Cameron Jones: Rwanda’s FDU-Inkingi opposition party is reporting that Rwandan police assaulted and/or arrested seventeen of its members last Monday, outside the Supreme Court appeals hearing of their imprisoned leader, Madame Victoire Ingabire. Ingabire attempted to run against incumbent Rwandan President Paul Kagame, in the 2010 election that many observers, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, described as unfair or as window dressing for military dictatorship. Ingabire was not allowed to register her party or run against Kagame, and she has been incarcerated in Rwanda’s 1930 maximum security prison since October 2010. KPFA’s Ann Garrison has the story.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Last October Victoire Ingabire was convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison. She has appealed the conviction, but prosecutors have at the same time appealed for a harsher sentence. They accuse Ingabire, an ethnic Hutu, of conspiring with members of a Hutu militia in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to destabilize Rwanda. They also accuse her of minimizing the 1994 Rwanda Genocide by asking that all victims, not only Tutsi but also Hutu, be remembered at the Kigali Genocide Memorial.    

In 2010, before her arrest, Ingabire told KPFA that she stands for true reconciliation between Rwanda’s Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa ethnicities, and said that media were falsely characterizing her as an ethnic politician, and ignoring her central concern with poverty, and with HIV/AIDS:  

Victoire Ingabire (in 2010): Now I see all media. . .they say that I talk only about ethnicity, but that is not true. I talk also about the problem of poverty in our country. I talk about the problem of AIDS.  

KPFA: Scholars, including Colgate University Peace and Conflict Studies Professor Susan Thompson and Loyola University Political Science Professor Brian Endless, and Rwanda Genocide survivor and author Paul Rusesabagina have all written that Rwanda’s much lauded economic success has rewarded only an urban elite and left Rwanda’s majority rural peasants in extreme poverty. And, they say, this success has been largely achieved by illegal extraction of neighboring D.R. Congo’s vast mineral wealth.

FDU-Inkingi Treasurer Alice Muhirwa, in Rwanda KPFA spoke to Alice Muhirwa, the FDU-Inkingi Party Treasurer, in Rwanda, who said that she had been able to enter the Rwandan Supreme Courtroom for the appeals hearing on Monday, and that those arrested or beaten before they could enter had not been been demonstrating, but that Victoire Ingabire’s supporters all wear name tags, bracelets, or pink ties, the color of Rwandan prison uniforms, to court, to demonstrate their support for her.

Alice Muhirwa: People, all supporters of Madame Ingabire Victoire, all the time have something showing that they are really supporting. Either we had pink ties, or some written thing, so it was not a kind of demonstration. We had some name tags and bracelets. I don’t think that they arrested them because of those bracelets, because I was wearing one and I was inside the courtroom. It seems that they organized themselves just to . . . to intimidate or pressure against people who will try to come and support Madame Victoire.

KPFA: The Rwandan Supreme Court postponed the appeals of both prosecution and defense until April 16th. Amnesty International called on the court to allow an appeal that meets international fair trial standards and rectifies problems documented in their report Justice in Jeopardy: The first instance trial of Victoire Ingabire. For Pacifica, KPFA, and AfrobeatRadio, I’m Ann Garrison.

Many San Francisco inmates voting for the first time

KPFA Evening News, 11.03.2012


San Francisco County jails 3 and 4 are on the 6th and 7th floors of the Hall of Justice, which is better known as 850 Bryant.

KPFA News Anchor Sharon Sobotta: San Francisco is the leader in voter registration and voting among county jail inmates in the State of California, because of the efforts of its Sheriff's Department's Prisoner Legal Services program. Over 400 new voters have been registered for the upcoming election, but the program's director would still like to see more inmates registered to to vote. KPFA's Ann Garrison has the story    

KPFA/Ann Garrison: San Francisco Sheriff Ross Miirkarimi said that most inmates who are eligible to vote are eager to do so, and said that many who register in jail are doing so for the first time.

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi: Our county jail system is really no different than any other county jail system across the state, or across the country. Black and Brown people. African American, Latino population - primarily. And, for the first time in many of these inmates’ lives, they are being San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi asked to register to vote, or have demonstrated some interest in registering to vote, so the San Francisco County jail system has made that process easy and accessible. And I am proud to say that San Francisco leads the rest of California, in us registering more inmates than any other county in this state.

KPFA: Sheriff Mirkarimi also said that voting is part of the San Francisco Sheriff's Department's longstanding emphasis on rehabilitation and re-entry.

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi: This is also a function of our society, and that is exercising their participation in the election process, in the democratic process. And through our rehabilitative efforts in preparing an inmate in re-entering society comes also, I think, their hope and expectation to be a participant in that process, and that participation begins while in incarceration.

KPFA: The San Francisco County Jail also has one of the highest rates of voter participation in the City and County of San Francisco.. 

For Pacifica, KPFA Radio, I'm Ann Garrison.






SEIU 1021 activists arrested at San Francisco's deYoung Museum


KPFA Evening News, 09.08.2012

On September 7th, 2012, SEIU 1021 members were arrested barricading the entrance to "Friday Night at the deYoung," a weekly art event at San Francisco's deYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park, in support of museum workers in bitterly contested contract negotiations.


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