Videos and Photos: Tom Abbott
July 9, 2016 (San Diego) The Ebenenezlr Baptist Church in South East San Diego was full. The small sanctuary held people of all colors, and indeed different faiths. They came to stand together and support the civil rights of all Americans.
Speakers today included Stephen Whitburn from Pride San Diego, and Reverend Shane Harris, President of National Action Network San Diego announced that he would be marching during Pride, and participating during the Stonewall Rally next Friday. The alliance is strategic, as discrimination is wrong, regardless of who it is done against. He also had on the stage Pastor Russell Brown from El Cajon and Hanif Mohebi, President of the Council on American Islamic Relations San Diego.
During the rally Harris also talked to Edmund Jordan, who represents the Alton Sterling family. Sterling was fatally shot this week by two officers in Baton Rouge outside of a convenience store. Jordan is also a representative in the state house in Louisiana. There were technical difficulties, so they talked by phone and we are including the video of the conversation in full.
The short of it, there is video from the convenience store that Jordan wants release, but the police are resisting. He also agrees that it is time for these cases to be investigated by those who are not part of the local legal system, such as the District Attorney. We believe the full conversation deserves a careful hearing.
Lastly Harris spoke about these issues and how it is important for people to vote. But he also said NAN was not going to endorse anybody who is not taking about these civil rights issues that matter to not just the African American community, but many other communities.
He was clear in calling the city council for not allowing a stronger citizen review board to be put on the ballot, or vote for one. Moreover, he also called for independent investigations of these civil rights cases. He said that people need to be strategic about these matters. Also that just marching, or hashtags are not going to get the job done. There is far more that needs to happen, and the changes needed are systemic. After all, racism and issues of civil rights are systemic in nature.
He was also clear as day that nobody condones the deaths of police officers.
We also learned that the Robert Branch trial is going to trial on October 4, 2016. There were no charges filed until a civil rights case against the Sheriff’s Office was filed in 2015. We have been covering the trial issues and you can find our coverage of the preliminary hearing here: