A tale of two occupations
K Street was triple-krazy this past Monday afternoon.
When SN&R arrived, though, the white supremacists had disappeared to wherever white supremacists go, and the cop-hating Occupy Oaklanders had already fled. Light rail halted, police closed 10th Street and bike cops patrolled as baffled onlookers quizzed each other on what’d happened just minutes earlier. There were few clues. Just a pile of horse crap in the road.
The bad smells began hours earlier, though, around noon, according to witnesses. A group of all-white activists—some called them “neo-Nazis”—had registered to protest at the Capitol. Their beef? Stop anti-white violence in South Africa, an effort they call the South Africa Project.
Anyway, witnesses say that, at 3 p.m., California Highway Patrol shut down 10th Street and escorted the white supremacists to a parking garage near L Street. Additional officers separated the neo-Nazis from a voracious mob of Occupy protesters, many of whom bussed in from Oakland and were marching on the opposite side of the road.
“Then, I guess somebody threw a bottle and it hit an officer,” recalled Tricia Blakeman, an Occupy Sacramento counter-protester who witnessed the event. She says she only saw one bottle tossed amid the hundreds of protesters, although city police officer Laura Peck said that multiple items were thrown, including paint.
So, who did the tossing: Occupy Sacto or Oakland? “They said he was from Oakland,” Blakeman answered, “but the other people from Oakland didn’t recognize him and said he was an agent from the police that did it to start something.
“We didn’t want to start violence,” she added on behalf of Occupy Sacramento.
Fellow Occupy Sacto member “Faygo” said that “it got pretty hectic there for a minute.” Officers on horseback galloped up and down the block.
“I look over and I see a guy with a cop on him, then another guy pulled the cop off,” he said. An officer later threatened to arrest Faygo for holding a sign without a permit.
At the end of the day, two officers were hurt, and three individuals were arrested.
Plus, one big stink. (Nick Miller)Yolo-Sacto kid crackdown
Juveniles are tried in adult court at much higher rates in Sacramento and Yolo counties than in other parts of the state.
That’s according to a study by the advocacy group Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, which has long been a critic increasing use of “direct file” by prosecutors to try and send youths accused of serious felonies to adult prison.
“How a kid gets treated is determined more by geography than by the actual crime rate,” says Dan Macallair, executive director of the CJCJ.
For the years 2003 through 2010, the median number of direct file cases around the state was 10 per 1,000 juvenile felony arrests. Sacramento had nearly 25 per 1,000 and Yolo led the state with more than 30.
Sacramento’s high rate is partly due to policies set by Sacramento’s elected DA Jan Scully. For example, any juvenile felony involving a firearm is referred to adult court.
Responding to concerns from the NAACP, the Sacramento DA’s office did its own study of these cases in 2008. The report found that 91 percent of the cases referred to adult court in 2006 and 2007 involved a gun.
That year 66.7 percent of the juveniles tried in adult court were African-American, 19.6 percent were Hispanic, 5.8 percent were white and 5.8 percent were Asian. (Cosmo Garvin)