ACLU Demands Release of Records in Police Beating of 14-year-old Boy

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SACRAMENTO - The ACLU Foundation of Northern California extends our sympathy to Jah, a 14-year-old Black and Samoan boy who was subjected to excessive use of force by a Rancho Cordova Police Officer. Jah, who never appeared to pose a threat, was tackled, pinned, and punched by the officer on April 27, 2020 in the area of Mills Station Road and Mather Field Road in Rancho Cordova, CA. Jah and his family are in our thoughts as they heal and recover from this traumatic event.

“This vicious beating has understandably drawn national outrage,” said Lizzie Buchen, director of the ACLU of California’s Criminal Justice Project. “There is no excuse for this officer using this kind of excessive force for what ended up being a citation for possession of a tobacco product. The family deserves justice and accountability as they heal from this trauma.”

There is a proven pattern of implicit and explicit racial bias against Black, Brown and Native people among law enforcement. The agency must take all steps necessary to ensure that its officers only use force that is necessary and proportional to the law enforcement objective at stake. In doing so, they must hold accountable any officers who do not comply with this basic and critical principle of policing.

We demand the prompt release of the following:

  • All records relating to the officer’s history of serious uses of force and misconduct, as required by California law under SB 1421.
  • All video footage available, whether obtained from Rancho Cordova Police Department body camera; street or business surveillance; or witnesses who recorded the event.
  • All recordings of dispatch calls and other relevant radio transmissions.
  • The name of the officer.
  • All records relating to the officer’s history of serious uses of force and misconduct.
  • All records relating to training and policy on Use of Force by the Rancho Cordova Police Department.
  • All records relating to aggregate civilian complaints of excessive use of force and racial and identity profiling by the Rancho Cordova Police Department

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