Wealth and Disparities Members of Justice for Mario Woods speak with a press officer in the California State Capitol Monday.(L to R): Denise Friday, Dionne Smith, Phelicia Jones, Telon Sanchez and Gwen Woods.
“Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community: Justice 4 Mario Woods” won a victory Monday when their rally on the steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento led to a meeting with aides of Gov. Jerry Brown.
Concerned that elected state officials have been “too quiet” about the police killings of unarmed minorities, spokesperson Phelicia Jones led the group of parents whose children were shot by police and their allies at a Sacramento event they had dubbed “Lobby Day.”
After passing through security, the group of about 20 waved signs and chanted, “No Justice, No Peace, No Racist Police,” until they were halted outside the public meeting space by capitol police.
Insisting that they had the right to see their representatives, especially since the representatives had all been informed that the group was coming, Jones prevailed upon the policeman to allow them to personally deliver to Gov. Brown their prepared documents on police violence in several California cities.
Unable to get a mass meeting, Jones and Gwen Woods, the mother of Mario Woods who was killed by San Francisco police in 2015, were designated as delegates.
The meeting was brief, but Jones and Woods returned with two aides who promised a formal meeting with the governor in the near future.
Gilda Baker, who is trying to prove that her son Diallo Neal was killed by California Highway Patrol in a hit-and-run motorcycle incident in 2008 was pleased. “At least they gave us a moment to let all the mothers talk,” she said.
Woods says she wants nothing less than accountability, seeing Baltimore, MD, prosecutor Marilyn Mosely as the example to follow. To Brown and Kamala Harris, former state attorney general who is now a U.S. senator, Woods asks, “When are you going to put your humanity over politics?”
Dionne Smith, who led a rally on Mother’s Day eve at Stockton City Hall for these parents seeking justice, said she was glad of the meeting but felt there should be more people in the movement. “We need more mothers to come out,” said Smith whose unarmed son James Rivera was killed by Stockton police in 2010.
“Each one should bring one,” said Smith.
Other parents/family members present were Pete Perez, father of Petie Perez Jr., killed by Richmond police; Denise Friday, mother of Colby Friday, killed by Stockton police; and Telon Sanchez, cousin of Jessica Nelson, killed by San Francisco Police.