On Friday, February 27th, many San Diegans will gather at the Downtown Courthouse in protest against Proposition 21, which increases a variety of criminal penalties for crimes committed by youth and has incorporated many youth offenders into the adult criminal justice system.

This includes:

  1. Increased punishment for gang-related feloniesdeath penalty for gang-related murder; indeterminate life sentences for home-invasion robbery,carjackingwitness intimidation and drive-by shootings; and a new crime of recruiting for gang activities; and authorizes wiretapping for gang activities.
  2. Requires adult trial for juveniles 14 or older charged with murder or specified sex offenses.
  3. Elimination of informal probation for juveniles committing felonies.
  4. Required registration for gang related offenses.
  5. Designation of additional crimes as violent and serious felonies, thereby making offenders subject to longer sentences.

 

 

A local being impacted, named Aaron Harvey, recently shared his story about how this Proposition and Penal Code 182.5 has changed his life, stating  “My name is Aaron Harvey. I am a 26 yr old African American male who has grown up in the Lincoln Park community of San Diego for the majority of my life. Both sides of my family have not only lived in this community since the mid 50’s but also on the same street. My parents have been together since they were 14 and I am the youngest of 5 children. I was taught to be a hard worker, and for the last 7 years I have held multiple jobs ranging from being an EMT to managing a restaurant to working for the Department of Transportation, all while also pursuing my education. I am now living in Nevada studying to become a real estate agent. I have no criminal record but have just spent the last seven months in county jail under Penal Code (PC) 182.5 on a $1.1 million bail; I am being held to answer to 9 counts of shootings. This PC was voted in under Prop. 21 in the year 2000, but has never been used before anywhere in the state. It states that if the police have you documented as a gang member then you can be charged with the crimes allegedly committed by the gang without having any knowledge that these crimes were ever committed.

The police department has unjustly documented me as a gang member based on a series of stops that were either in front of my home or within a quarter mile of my residence. No crimes were ever being committed to warrant these stops or traffic violations – merely just being outside in the neighborhood I grew up in. Even the District Attorney has openly admitted in court that they know I played no part in these crimes, and are pretty much sure that I didn’t even have knowledge of them, but because they have me documented as a gang member I can be, and will be, held liable for the crimes committed. As of now I am looking at life in prison if convicted. My purpose for this letter is not just to spread the word about my case, but also to assist in helping people become aware of PC 182.5 under prop. 21. If the DA wins this case, not only will mine and the 33 other defendants’ lives change forever, but also the lives of every other young person who has been falsely documented as a gang member. Right now they’re targeting the black communities but soon they will target all communities of color. If we don’t stand up together to stop this, there is no way of knowing how many citizens will be wrongfully charged under this Penal Code.

My next court hearing is this Friday, February 27th at 1:30pm where a Judge will be assigned to review the 995 motions presented by my defense arguing the case is unconstitutional and should be dismissed. I am asking that you would come and join me at my hearing on Friday, February 27th. Your support there would be highly appreciated and will help bring awareness of this law that is taking place in our city. We will meet at 12:30 outside the courthouse at 220 W Broadway. Our united presence is the only way to demonstrate that the community is united against the injustices within these proceedings. Thank you very much for your time.”
For more information you can follow the leading organization behind this effort on Facebook at:People’s Coalition Against 182.5   https://www.facebook.com/events/658930250897165The coalition is requesting that the  hashtag  #RepealProp21  be used in conjunction with the rally at the court on Friday, 2/27.
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FEBRUARY 27, 2015 at 7:00pm 
Black Lives Matter: A Public Talk with Alicia Garza
@ Malcolm X Library
5148 Market Street
San Diego, CA 92114 
This talk will address the history and goals of the Black Lives Matter movement and invite discussion around local movements for social justice. Alicia Garza is co-founder of the internationally respected Black Lives Matter movement. She is also the Special Projects Director for the National Domestic Workers Alliance, which seeks respect, recognition and labor protection for domestic workers. Sponsored by the Mackey-Cua Project
A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement: http://blacklivesmatter.com/a-herstory-of-the-blacklivesmatter-movement/
BLM Vision and Demands: http://blacklivesmatter.com/ferguson/
Turn Up: 21st-Century Black Millennials Are Bringing Direct Action Back
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/malkia-a-cyril/to-save-thier-lives-black_b_6338924.html