A group of Stockton residents who have been protesting for weeks during City Council meetings submitted a list of demands to Mayor Michael Tubbs on Tuesday.
The protest had been escalating for weeks, with meetings getting shut down and resulting in the arrest of protesters. Among other police shootings, the primary goal of the protests was to demand the Mayor to put pressure on the San Joaquin county District Attorney so she would release surveillance video of the officer-involved-shooting of Colby Friday.
On Tuesday, Mayor Tubbs announced that "The District Attorney Tori Verber actually met with some folks over at the council meeting over the past month and she decided that she’s going to release some video footage to the family of Colby Friday.” He added that he "met with protesters and we agreed that they would come with a list of demands to me and I would give them a list of what the police department is doing.”
ABC10's Lilia Luciano spoke with Dione Smith the mother of James Rivera, a 16-year-old who was fatally shot by San Joaquin County deputies and a Stockton PD officer. She said that she, along with other protesters met with Mayor Tubbs last week. On Tuesday, she submitted to the Mayor and the City Council a list that demanded, among other items, "That Law Enforcement release department-issued body camera footage (within) 72 hours of any incident (involving) a police officer."
Stockton PD recently announced a new policy that states the department will release body camera footage within 10 days of the incident or 10 days of requests. However, they will only do so when Chief Eric Jones decides it’s in the public interest.
"We want law enforcement to release the video within 72 hours and the reason that we agreed on 72 hours because when (the police) murder our loved ones, it doesn’t take you longer to put out negative information about them.” Smith said.
When Colby Friday was shot, he was labeled as a documented gang member. In their initial reports, Stockton PD also said he was a suspect of a robbery, then a domestic violence dispute, but they ultimately clarified that he was guilty of neither crime.
Daniel Lopez, the Public Information Officer for Mayor Tubbs's office said, "We already have that, so why would you bring a list demanding something that, if you are really sincere in trying to make this happen, you would already know that we have it. Do you want to change it?"
Lopez said most of the demands in the list are not up to the Mayor or City council, but rather to state legislators or to law enforcement. Stockton PD responded via text, earlier today, saying:
"The modern demands of law enforcement include shouldering the burdens of the entire law enforcement profession. We understand the seriousness of that obligation and the importance of us doing everything within our power to provide fair and effective police services to our citizens. Despite countless meetings and attempts, we have been unable to help some of our critics understand that most of what they’re after has already occurred and some of their concerns don’t fall within our jurisdiction. Complaints about state law are best addressed through the state legislature because the City of Stockton does not dictate that process"
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