Archive for September, 2017

Writer wants police to deal with Antifa, other radical groups that terrorize, injure, vandalize

Thursday, September 21st, 2017

Editor:

The disguised and masked Antifa, other radical groups, and individuals must be dealt with immediately by the police when they appear to just terrorize, injure, vandalize, and overall break the existing laws.

They arrive united in purpose, similarly disguised, and with covered faces so they won’t be identified. Our California Penal Code laws clearly make it illegal to; Conspire together (PC 182), Wearing  Mask Or Disguise (PC 185), Assault (PC 240), Batter (PC 242), Assault With A Deadly Weapon (PC 245), to Terrorize/Threaten (PC 422 and/or 11411), Riot (PC 404), Incite To Riot (PC 404.6), Rout (PC 406), Unlawfully Assemble (PC 407), Participating In Rout Or Unlawful Assembly (408), Public Disturbance (PC 415), Threatening With Weapon (PC 417), Vandalize, Damage Or Destroy (PC 594), and so on.

And, it’s unlawful also for the police to willfully not suppress a Riot or Route (PC 410). In addition, any of their superiors who order them to not take action are guilty also.

So, the answer to all of their lawlessness is quite simple. Just enforce the laws immediately and shortly these things will cease considerably. There is your answer.

Ralph A. Hernandez

Antioch

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Antioch Police identify, DA charges suspect with murder in Tuesday domestic dispute turned deadly

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Dominic Griffin. Photo by APD

By Sergeant John Fortner #3264, Antioch Police Investigations Division, Violent Crimes Unit

On Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 9:54 AM, residents in the 300 block of Lawton Street called 9-1-1 regarding a verbal argument occurring outside between three men. It was reported that one of the men had a firearm and was pointing it at another. Shortly afterwards, several calls came into the dispatch center that gunshots were being fired. (See related article).

After the initial response by the Antioch Police Department’s patrol division, several detectives from the Violent Crimes Unit responded to initiate an investigation into the shooting. Detectives determined that suspect 31-year-old Dominic Griffin was detained at the scene after shooting his 43-year-old stepfather and 24-year-old half-brother.

Detectives learned that just before the shooting, Griffin was in a verbal argument with his stepfather at an apartment complex located on Lawton Street. During the argument, Griffin’s stepfather was joined by his adult son (Griffin’s half-brother) and the group continued to argue. As the argument escalated, Griffin brandished a pistol and fired it several times at his stepfather and half-brother striking each of them several times. Upon being shot, Griffin’s stepfather fell to the ground suffering from mortal injuries. Griffin’s half-brother fled the scene after being shot and called for help at a convenience store located a couple of blocks away. Griffin remained at the scene until police arrived.

On Wednesday afternoon Antioch detectives met with the District Attorney’s Office and presented the facts of the case. After reviewing the case, the Deputy District Attorney filed the following charges against Dominic Griffin: PC 187(a) Murder, PC 664/187 ATTEMPTED MURDER, and PC 12022.53(b) Firearm Enhancement.

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DA’s office expands education outreach on cyber-bullying, campus and online safety for kids

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Starting on September 14, 2017, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office Sexual Assault Unit, in conjunction with the Silicon Valley Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, expanded an outreach program directed at parents, teachers and students on the topics of cyber-bullying, campus sexual assault awareness and online safety for kids.  The presentations are aimed at educating parents and teachers on new trends involving social media, as well as providing students with information and tools to improve campus safety and prevent online exploitation.

“The effort was started last year, first at DVC,” according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Graves. “The first presentation in a high school was at Campolindo in Moraga.”

“Since then we’ve been working with police officers and those in our office on the task force,” he continued. “Campus sexual assault awareness is geared toward high school seniors and community colleges, due to the content. The cyberbullying and online safety for kids is for everyone, but mainly targeted to middle school students and parents, with presentations for both,”

“We’ve been working to have somewhere for schools to call to have presentations made for students and parents,” Graves added.

Schools, community organizations and parent/teacher groups who are interested in learning more can call Deputy District Attorney Lauren Whalen at 925-957-8603. 

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Graves to hold campaign kick-off for Contra Costa DA in Pleasant Hill Friday

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Contra Costa Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Graves. photo courtesy of Paul Graves for DA

The campaign for Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Graves, running for Contra Costa District Attorney in next June’s election, announced they will hold a Kickoff Celebration this Friday, September 22. The event will be held at the Pleasant Hill Senior Center, 223 Gregory Lane from 5:30 – 7:30 PM.

Join Paul Graves and his supporters for drinks and tacos to celebrate. All are welcome. RSVP through their Eventbrite page.

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Supervisors fund illegal immigrant family aid program to monitor ICE actions in county

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Helps pay for “Rapid Response” inspectors, education workshops, legal aid sessions

By Daniel Borsuk

In response to policies and actions by President Trump and to assist illegal immigrant families “facing immediate separation due to deportation,” Contra Costa County supervisors unanimously agreed to use $500,000 to cover expenses and match funds from non-profit organizations for the launch of a Stand Together CoCo pilot project in January. Stand Together CoCo 8_16_17

The proposal by the Contra Costa Immigration Rights Alliance, originally submitted earlier this year needed a total of $1,002,750 for the program. The county will use funds from state Assembly Bill 109 automobile license fee revenues. According to their Facebook page, “CCIRA seeks to end ICE collaboration in Contra Costa and to promote immigrant rights, inclusion and a spirt of welcome in cities throughout the county.” Draft CoCoCo Immigrant Legal & Ed P-ship

The effort had already rounded up $585,000 from six non-profit organizations that will help fund Stand Together CoCo operate during its inaugural year of operations consisting of education workshops, legal aid sessions, and the hiring and oversight of 12 Rapid Response inspectors who will be dispatched around the county to observe and take notes on how United States Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents conduct themselves at arrest sites.

According to the staff report, “The proposal requests that the Board of Supervisors authorize the Office of the Public Defender to establish Stand Together CoCo as a pilot project. The requested allocation is $500,000 in FY 17/18 funding to support operations in the January-June 2018 first phase, with a further commitment that the County will provide $500,000 in annual support in each of fiscal years 2018-19 and 2019-20. Working with key local partners, Stand Together CoCo will then use this commitment to generate funding from other public and private sources.”

Presently the program has received letters of commitment from the Y & H Soda Foundation of $275,000, the San Francisco Foundation of $100,000, the East Bay Community Foundation of $50,000, and the Firedoll Foundation of $50,000, and letters of intention from the Richmond Community Foundation of $10,000 and the California Endowment of $100,000.

During the public hearing portion that drew 21 persons speaking in support of the program that Contra Costa County Deputy Public Defender Ali Saidi will oversee, District 2 Supervisor Candace Andersen questioned about the functions of the Rapid Response Dispatch Inspectors and whether they would create potential legal problems with the federal government should Rapid Response Inspectors interfere with ICE agents.

“I don’t want to see ordinary citizens getting in the way of the actions of ICE agents,” Andersen said

In the early going it looked like Andersen was going to possibly cast the lone negative vote, but later on she decided to vote along with her colleagues.

“I’m going to take a leap of faith.  I am concerned about public safety,” the supervisor later said before casting a yes vote for the program.

Andersen also voiced concern that this new county-backed immigrant rights program might duplicate services already provided in the county through existing nonprofit organizations like the Contra Costa Crisis Center.

“I don’t want to spend one half million dollars on duplicating services,” said the supervisor who represents a large minority population consisting of Chinese, Indian, and Pakistani residents.

“A Google search doesn’t show what’s really being done,” District 1 Supervisor John Gioia said in response to Andersen’s concern about the potential duplication of legal aid services for immigrants.

Deborah Bernstein of the Jewish Family and Community Services in Walnut Creek said her organization has served 875 county residents seeking immigration legal assistance from January through August.

“These people are living in a high level of fear,” she said.

Since January, Catholic Charities of Contra Costa County has helped 924 people receive legal immigration aid.

“We’ve seen a big increase in people needing help,” said Christopher Martinez of Catholic Charities.

Rubicon Contract Approved

In other action, supervisors approved a $408,750 contract with Rubicon Programs, Inc., an ex-felon nonprofit assistance program, after receiving a letter from Contra Costa Sheriff-Coroner David Livingston that he is now satisfied the one-year contract extension complies with contract protocol.  Last week, supervisors had delayed action on the contract because of the sheriff’s concern that the contract did not go through adequate review by a county contract panel.

The practice of assessing $30 a day cost living charges for juveniles serving sentences at the county’s two juvenile facilities – Juvenile Hall in Martinez and Boys Ranch in Discovery Bay, is over.  Supervisors voted 5-0 to officially end the bill that parents or legal guardian had to pay the county upon the release of their child for the daily living (meals, lodging, other expenses).  Contra Costa County joins other counties like San Francisco, Alameda, Santa Cruz and Los Angeles ditching the juvenile hall daily cost of living fee because it is viewed as being financially retaliatory to parents of children in the juvenile justice system.  The county had begun to temporarily cease the billing practice in 2016.

Next week, supervisors will vote on permanently ending the $17 daily electronic surveillance fee of minors in the juvenile justice system.

The county can afford to eliminate the daily cost of living fee and daily electronic surveillance fee because county officials laid off two fulltime juvenile hall clerical positions.

Supervisors also instructed John Kopchik, director of the Conservation and Development Department, to present to the board by next February proposed regulations for short-term rentals in unincorporated areas of the county.  Supervisors especially representing Discovery Bay, Kensington, Alamo, and Black Hawk have seen a surge in short-term rentals that have produced parking, noise and other problems.  County planners will develop an ordinance by examining what other jurisdictions like San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Sacramento and other counties have drafted.

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Contra Costa teens targeted in large-scale voter registration effort

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

25 high schools to hold registration drives

The Contra Costa County Elections Division is coordinating a large-scale registration campaign with 25 Contra Costa County high schools as part of National Voter Registration Day on Tuesday, September 26th.

The Elections Division is providing ready-made registration kits to facilitate on-campus events, which contain everything needed to conduct a registration drive.

In addition to registering 18-year-old students, those who are 16 and 17 years old can also “pre-register” to vote.

“We’re happy to partner with schools across Contra Costa County and help register eligible voters and pre-register soon-to-be-voters,” said Joe Canciamilla, Contra Costa Clerk-Recorder and Registrar of Voters. “As someone who first ran for office at age 17, I can personally attest to the value of registering and becoming involved in the electoral process as soon as one becomes eligible.”

National Voter Registration Day is an annual event to create awareness of voter registration opportunities and to reach those who may not otherwise register.

The Elections Division joins 2,500 organizations across the country in promoting voter registration and celebrating democracy on National Voter Registration Day.

This is the third year Contra Costa Elections has organized National Voter Registration Day efforts with county high schools, and over 1,000 students have registered or pre-registered to vote as a result.

Concord High School civics teacher Andrew Shetterly expressed his excitement, noting that very few of his students are currently registered to vote. “I think it will be powerful to have them all register together. The kits help turn the act of registering into a life event that students can share and it feels official,” Shetterly said.

The Elections Division urges all eligible voters to register or update their registration, which can be done online at www.registertovote.ca.gov.

Interested groups are encouraged to hold their own voter registration events on September 26th. Contact our office at 925-335-7805 for information or visit www.NationalVoterRegistrationDay.org for ideas and details.

National Voter Registration Day is celebrated annually on the 4th Tuesday in September and has been endorsed by the National Association of Secretaries of State and the National Association of State Election Directors.

Each kit contains:

  • Voter registration cards
  • A voter registration card stand
  • Instructions on completing a registration form
  • National Voter Registration Day posters
  • “I registered to vote” Stickers
  • A table cover
  • Photo props
  • Table decorations
  • Pens
  • Sticky hands
  • A return envelope for completed registrations
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Shoot out results in one death in Antioch Tuesday morning

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

By Sergeant John Fortner #3264, Antioch Police Investigations Division, Violent Crimes Unit

On Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at 9:54 AM, residents in the 300 block of Lawton Street called 9-1-1 regarding a verbal argument occurring outside between three men. It was reported that one of the men had a firearm and was pointing it at another. Shortly afterwards, several calls came into the dispatch center that gunshots were being fired. Witnesses calling in reported that one male victim was down on the ground, one male victim fled the area on-foot, and one male suspect remained at the scene who was armed with what appeared to be a pistol.

Several officers responded to the area and detained one male suspect who complied with police commands. Afterwards, officers began administering CPR to one male victim who was down on the ground. The Fire Department responded and took over life-saving measures, but the victim was mortally wounded and passed away at the scene.

The male victim who fled on-foot ran to a local convenience store and was contacted by police. The victim sustained at least one gunshot wound to the upper torso and was transported to a local area hospital. The surviving victim was admitted into surgery and is currently listed in stable, but critical condition.

At this time, it appears that all the involved parties to this incident have been contacted, accounted for, and/or detained. The firearm allegedly used in this incident was recovered.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Antioch Police Department non-emergency line at (925)778-2441. You may also text-a-tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using the key word ANTIOCH.

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Antioch Police promote four to new positions of leadership

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

Photo courtesy of APD.

In a post on the Antioch Police Department Facebook page, it was announced that the four officers were promoted to new leadership positions. The post reads:

“Chief Tammany Brooks (center) stands with newly promoted Corporal Steve Aiello, Corporal Matt Harger and Sergeants Matt Koch and James Stenger (From left to right).  All of these new supervisors have worked almost every assignment there is at APD, and have over 70 years of law enforcement experience between them!! Congratulations and good luck to Antioch Police Department’s newest supervisors in their new assignments!!”

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