MLK Center Hosts Wide-Ranging Talk on Equality, Justice and the Future

Speakers assemble for a group photo. Photos by Jon Lewis.

City, county, state and federal leaders gathered Friday at Redding’s Martin Luther King Jr. Center to consider a pair of questions: 1) What would a safe Shasta County look like and 2) What will you do to promote a community that respects the rights and safety of everyone.

The novel gathering was sponsored by Shasta County Citizens Advocating Respect to delve deeper into the anger and unrest associated with the May 25 death of George Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old black man, at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer.

“It’s time to go beyond what we feel like,” said Marilyn Traugott, a SSCAR member and the moderator of Friday’s gathering. “Inner peace is not enough. We need systemic change, and if it’s done from peace, it will be effective.”

Eddie McAllister and Marilyn Traugott.

Billed as a press conference, the morning session featured a fairly thorough cross-section of the north state community. Law enforcement was represented by Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett, Shasta County Sheriff Eric Magrini, Redding Police Chief Bill Schueller and Anderson Police Chief Michael Johnson.

Representing local government were city council members Baron Browning (Anderson), Janice Powell (Shasta Lake) and Julie Winter (Redding). Joe Chimenti represented the Shasta County Board of Supervisors; Bruce Ross stood in for state Sen. Brian Dahle; and the federal level was represented by Cong. Doug LaMalfa, whose sprawling 1st District includes Redding, Chico, Susanville and Truckee.

Shasta Union High School District Superintendent Jim Cloney also participated, as well as Lynn Fritz with Shasta Interfaith; Abu Bakr Salahuddin, the Imam at the Islamic Center of Redding; Jesica Rhone, director of international programs at the McConnell Foundation; and Larry Olmstead, CEO of United Way Northern California.

KRCR-TV anchor Mike Mangas and Lynn Fritz.

A safe community is one where all feel safe and are free to succeed based on merit, said Cloney, an administrator overseeing 5,000 high school students. Cloney said he was heartened to see so many young people at the forefront of protests being staged across the country. The reaction to Floyd’s death is an opportunity to engage the youth, he added.

Olmstead described a safe community as one where “all residents know issues of equality are issues for all of us, not just African-Americans or Native Americans” or any other racial or ethnic group. Promoting such a community going forward is a matter of creating greater economic prosperity, he said.

Bridgett defined a safe Shasta County as one where people are free to enjoy everything the county has to offer, “free from hate and where everybody feels heard.” Additionally, people would have trust in the criminal justice system.

Shasta County District Attorney Stephanie Bridgett.

“We hear you and we stand with you,” she said. “I condemn the unnecessary, tragic death of George Floyd.” Bridgett vowed to continue working for fairness while promoting diversity, noting that half her prosecutors are women and people of color. “As district attorney, I will continue to protect everybody’s right to protest,” but when actions turn to criminal behavior “we will not tolerate that.”

Being inclusive is a choice, Magrini said, and working to eliminate division and discrimination will help create a safer Shasta County. The sheriff said he felt his agency was on the right track “but there are always things we can do better. Communication is the key.”

Shasta County Sheriff Eric Magrini.

Michael Johnson, Anderson’s police chief, said there are times when people blur that revered “thin blue line” of officers lining up to protect everybody, “equally and unbiasedly, and we can’t have that.”

Anderson Police Chief Michael Johnson.

Peace, equality, unity and solutions-oriented policing are the keys for law enforcement, he said. “If we’re not progressive and unified, we will not move forward as a community,” Johnson said.

Anderson City Councilman Browning said a safe community is one with a lot of local involvement. There are challenges, though. “There is so much banging going on on social media during a time when we should be coming together,” he said.

Anderson City Councilman Baron Browning

Communication, including social media, is a key to community strength, said Janice Powell, Shasta Lake’s mayor. “Social injustice begins when people can’t speak. Equality begins when everybody has the same voice. You can talk the talk, but let’s be sure to walk the walk.”

Chimenti said he found it sad that it’s 2020 “and we’re still talking about things like basic respect. We all want to be heard but we don’t want to listen.” The path to more equality and justice lies in accepting “the reality that people don’t always think like we do. We have to embrace the human condition. This is very doable. We have to and we can change the culture.”

Looking backward will help us move forward, said Ross, state Sen. Brian Dahle’s district director. For example, Ross said he has a friend who owns a home visible from the MLK Center. The deed to that home, drafted in the 1950s, prohibits blacks from ownership or occupancy “except for a maid.”

Bruce Ross.

While clearly illegal today, that discriminatory language was a fact of life for African-Americans and others need to be aware of and sensitive to that history, Ross said. Looking toward the future, Ross said finding non-law enforcement options for community problems may lead to greater equality.

LaMalfa, the final speaker, said his mind was “boggled” by what he saw in the video depicting Floyd’s death outside a Minneapolis convenience store, but he reminded the participants that there are more than 800,000 well-intentioned law enforcement officers in the country. “All the training in the world can’t change that one bad apple,” he said.

Cong. Doug LaMalfa.

LaMalfa said the federal government can’t, and shouldn’t, be expected to correct every instance of injustice or discrimination. “We all have an obligation,” he said, adding that one answer is more neighborhood activity and more one-on-one communication. “We have to speak the truth, and listen for it, too.”

Following the press conference, Eddie McAllister announced a rally and the Redding March for Justice from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday in Caldwell Park. The event will feature music and booths, speakers from 1 to 2 p.m. followed by a silent march. Participants are encouraged to wear masks and dress in black in support of Black Lives Matter.

Jon Lewis
Jon Lewis is a freelance writer living in Redding. He has more than 30 years experience writing for newspapers and magazines. Contact him at jonpaullewis@gmail.com.
Comment Policy: We welcome your comments, with some caveats: Please keep your comments positive and civilized. If your comment is critical, please make it constructive. If your comment is rude, we will delete it. If you are constantly negative or a general pest, troll, or hater, we will ban you from the site forever. The definition of terms is left solely up to us. Comments are disabled on articles older than 90 days. Thank you. Carry on.

81 Responses

  1. Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

    Sorry, but I can’t help seeing this as a whitewashed makeover, a put on by hard hitting pro Trump supporters, one of the most divisive, racist, sexist and authoritarian presidents this nation has ever had. Sadly, I believe most of these people in the picture will be voting Trump, as he uses his white nationalism to subvert democracy.

    While the people in the picture act like they’re progressive, their president whom they support has been using US military to attack peaceful citizens of the United States of America, has completely failed at the pandemic response, has facilitated the largest transfer of wealth from lower class and middle class to the upper class wealthy mostly white supporters of Trump’s and has facilitated cutting of food stamps for children, families and senior citizens, education, the degradation of our environment, and is actively working to make it difficult for people of color, and college students to vote, all while actively helping remove millions from healthcare. But of course, I doubt any of the above was brought up during this press conference, let alone a development of “solutions” to address poverty, social inequity and protection of voter rights.

    Sorry, but to a large degree, the people affected by this Trump administration, who many in this picture are active supporters of, are hurting the very people they claim they support in the so called press conference, are people of color, the youth and people in the lower working class. Notice how we didn’t see but perhaps one politician from the other side of this group’s political spectrum, at the so-called press conference. In fact, I would state this group works very diligently to keep such politicians at Bay. Some will say, oh, that’s because we are not political, as they stand smiling next to one of the most white wing politicians in America.

    Most of the people in this picture, except maybe a handful, are anti Obama. Some, even blame racism, the pandemic, economic and social injustice, and social inequity that we see in our society today… on President Obama.

    Will the whitewashing work? Will the Trump lions attempt at lay with the lambs in the name of “inclusiveness” work? Again for some, but in my view, this is an attempt to pull the wool over our eyes. This is a picture perfect opportunity for the white washers and they’re enablers, to point and say, ” see we love you man we’re inclusive.” But this photo op will go over big on Fox News. Imagine this, it really would have made the headlines if California Congressperson Maxine Waters had showed up…. We will never see that from this group.

    • Marilyn Traugott Marilyn Traugott says:

      Christian, you couldn’t be more wrong about this as an attempt at whitewashing by “hard hitting Trump supporters.” If you knew me or at least half the people there, you never would have made such an inaccurate and inflammatory statement about who we are and why SCCAR put together this press conference. We were very up-front with the participants that although we are most definitely not all aligned politically, these issues of humanity and social justice must transcend our divisions if this country is going to heal. We also stated clearly to our community leaders and government officials that by giving them the platform in front of a wide representation of print and broadcast media to present their commitments as to how to promote a community that respects the rights and safety of everyone, they would now be held accountable. This was said in the spirit of moving forward together rather than confrontationally widening an already huge divide. So no, there was no wool being pulled over anyone’s eyes. It’s rather an invitation to keep your eyes open, call out systemic injustice, and work to eliminate it.
      All that being said, I thank you for your post as it brought up the need for clarification.

      • Avatar Damon Miller says:

        If you think any of those politicians or officials actually care about systemic injustice, I have a bridge I would like to sell you.

      • Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

        Thank you for the reply. That said, SCCAR has repetitively denied asked opportunity for people running against trump politicians an opportunity to speak at SCCAR events, because you don’t want to be political. And yet, there you are. I agree with Janice Powell, “Social injustice begins when people can’t speak. Equality begins when everybody has the same voice. You can talk the talk, but let’s be sure to walk the walk.”

        I understand that at lest half the people in the picture are not politically aligned, but all the politicians, but one “didn’t you president ever do anything wrong; I support out president” and “don’t believe GOD is on the move, we have Trump!” especially your key note speaker, one of Trump’s biggest supporters, are politically aligned with the countries most dangerous authoritarian racist oppressor in recent history.

        I know local and macro very well…. and you group is local, I get that. But I hope you and your group understands Trump, Trumps just about the majority of anything local.

        While you welcome pro Trump politicians, I saw no one other than one, that speaks for the opposition against Trump’s policies, leadership and behaviors that I believe are “inflammatory” and detrimental to people of color, women and minorities. When will you welcome the people running against the Trump – LaMalfa agenda as well?

        That said, words are one thing, fighting for is another. I do have hope that change can come if we give politicians actively, not just feigning a fight against racism, a chance. Why? because https://www.npr.org/2020/06/05/870019283/poll-two-thirds-think-trump-made-racial-tensions-worse-after-george-floyds-death

        I get that not wanting politicians that actually are actively campaigning hard on fighting structural racism, poverty, inequity of social opportunity, civil rights, and equal economic, justice and environmental right, would be inflammatory here in Redding and giving the LaMalf – Trump politicians platforms is a safe bet. But all I listed above affects people of color and is part of the structural racist inequity build into the American social and political system. Don’t politicians a that are fighting that system deserve your a platform as well? If so, when will you provide that? Don’t know who? Just ask.

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        Christian believes that if we just get rid of Trump…racial relations will suddenly become peachy keen. This is what white liberals do. After Michael Brown and the other incidents under the Obama administration…the white liberals got worked up for a little bit, then went back to their gated communities and ignored the problem. They were fine with the looting and rioting, as long as it wasn’t in their neighborhood. I don’t see them anxious to tackle the root causes of racial tensions…instead, they feel guilt over their white privilege and feel the need to treat the black community as victims.

        Why aren’t the guilty white liberals marching in the streets in Chicago protesting the 600 African Americans gunned down every year in that city? No, instead they are shouting about defunding the police…again, won’t affect their neighborhood much, it will be the poor black neighborhoods that will suffer when police pull out.

        I go back to my days when I was recruited to help mentor minority teens. The young lady that started this foundation was a African American Air Force pilot that got inspiration from meeting and talking with some Tuskagee Airmen from WWII. She took action, instead of using the victim card, or blaming others…she rolled up her sleeves and leapt into action, mobilizing a force of volunteers that did real work, not shouting slogans or blaming politicians. We worked with family courts, the schools, moms and grandparents. we made a difference one kid at a time. Just think of the progress we can make by all of us digging in and doing the hard work…or we can have a little rally that makes us all warm and fuzzy, then go home and forget about the problem until another incident occurs.

        I for one praise the the leaders getting together to start the conversation. Now…let’s keep it going, let’s ignore the distractions from those like Christian, let’s keep the ball rolling and let’s make a difference

        • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

          Doug Cook,

          Hate crimes and other violence directed against minorities SURGED under Trump due to his blatantly racist rhetoric, his many incitements to violence, and his open praise of Nazis and other white supremacists. Racists all over the country believe that their racism has been legitimized because they now have one of their own in the White House.

          And what kind of sincere “conversation” can you have with people who are racist to the core? For some of these people this was just a PR opportunity they can exploit to pretend they’re on the right side of this issue, when – in fact – they completely support the most racist president in the country’s history, and are in favor of slashing housing, food, and other survival programs, which will disproportionately affect the Black community.

        • Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

          Hey Doug, good to hear from you but please don’t give away my secret!

          Oh, gee whiz, I forgot You’re the guy who persistently claims Trump is not a racist in any way or form, and that the United States of America doesn’t have a racial problem.

  2. Avatar Rich says:

    That picture shows what is wrong here. A lack of color. Does any of our local law enforcement agencies employ any black people? They should be actively recruiting.

    • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

      The intereview with Shasta County Sheriff Eric Magrini described in the article below is LOADED with contradictory statements and what might even be considered weasel words. He said (of the Cottonwood militia) that he’s “glad there are people who want to protect our community”, but that they shouldn’t take any vigilante action unless they need to “defend themselves” (a concept which is wide open to interpretation).

      Magrini admits that he ordered a member of his staff to call the Cottonwood militia, but doesn’t say to what purpose (other than that they expressed their intention of being there to “support law enforcement”).

      He said he doesn’t want people coming from out of town to participate in local demonstrations, and used rumors that a “Black Lives Matter shuttle” was supposedly sighted heading south from Klammath Falls, Oregon as an example. What does he think the 60-plus armed, military garb-wearing Cottonwood militia members are?

      https://www.redding.com/story/news/2020/06/05/shasta-county-sheriff-militia-invite-group-redding-george-floyd-protests/3155430001/

      • Avatar Damon Miller says:

        “What does he think the 60-plus armed, military garb-wearing Cottonwood militia members are?”

        Speaking as a Redding resident, they are literally “outside agitators.”

    • Avatar Candace says:

      “Why aren’t the guilty white liberals marching in the streets in Chicago protesting the 600 African Americans gunned down every year in that city? No, instead they are shouting about defunding the police…again, won’t affect their neighborhood much, it will be the poor black neighborhoods that will suffer when police pull out.”
      As I speak my “guilty white liberal” daughter is participating in peaceful, well-organized protests in Chicago. She won’t be going back to any “safe, gated” community when she’s “done” because she’ll never be “done” asking/demanding for changes in policies that bring economic and social change in order to “correct” racist-racial injustices. My daughter volunteers her time to her local Alderman and part of what he/she/they are pushing for is Chicago’s “CPAC” ( I suggest looking it up and learning about it). “Defunding the police” has to do with moving money from bloated police dept budgets and putting that money to work for social programs in the same communities police have sworn to protect; programs which give poc more opportunity for economic equality; programs which support teen youth programs; job skills programs; etc. The idea is to have more individual community involvement and control over how police patrol/interact with their communities which includes the removal/prosecution of racist cops. When you support social programs that address the abolishment of racist policies you support curbing crime stemming from those policies. ( As a side note, my daughter wears a mask and self-distances at the marches. She said in the last few marches most everyone she saw wore masks. She said many wear masks along with gloves and those not wearing gloves carry hand-sanitizer which they share with those who are not.) I was very concerned about my daughter participating in large protests during a pandemic but then I remembered how smart she is; as are many her age who are involved in their diverse neighborhoods. Marches, open-minded group dialogues between many opposing “parties” of people are great but unless actual actions to facilitate real change is asked for/demanded the status quo will remain. Since that’s not happening at the top those changes have a much better chance of success with grass-roots efforts from the bottom up. That’s what’s behind “Defund The Police”; that and wanting to “de-militarize” them and have them stop killing black people; something that’s been going on for a very long time.

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        Candace, I respect your daughter for being involved, unfortunately she is the exception not the rule. But the reality in Chicago is that it is not the police that are responsible for the horrific number of murders of Aftican Americans.

        Defunding the police won’t help stem the violence. It will be social programs that help get black kids educated and out of the poverty trap.

        I agree with you that many police debts have become militarized. I have been against that for years. But zI disagree that police are “killing black people ” the statistics don’t bear that out.

        • Avatar Candace says:

          No, Doug, just as there has always been and continues to be systemic and structural racism in our world, my daughter is no longer an exception to the rule.

          • Avatar Candace says:

            Doug, also, the monies siphoned from the bloated police budget goes towards funding the very same social programs you’re championing. The police budget isn’t gutted; there’s too strong of a union for that to happen.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Who says police budgets are bloated? Redding is struggling to keep enough sworn officers budgeted. How much do you want to defund the RPD?

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Candace, Here is some numbers from a recent WSJ oped that I found to be interesting.

            “…The police fatally shot nine unarmed blacks and 19 unarmed whites in 2019, according to a Washington Post database, down from 38 and 32, respectively, in 2015. The Post defines “unarmed” broadly to include such cases as a suspect in Newark, N.J., who had a loaded handgun in his car during a police chase. In 2018 there were 7,407 black homicide victims. Assuming a comparable number of victims last year, those nine unarmed black victims of police shootings represent 0.1% of all African-Americans killed in 2019. By contrast, a police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.”

            America has done more to fight against racism and bigotry than any country on the planet. Thats the truth.

            A system isn’t racist. The people in the system are racist. And classist. And sexist. And homophobic. And xenophobic. And ageist. And anti-religion. And…

  3. Avatar Damon Miller says:

    “First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more convenient season.’ Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.

    I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress. I had hoped that the white moderate would understand that the present tension in the South is a necessary phase of the transition from an obnoxious negative peace, in which the Negro passively accepted his unjust plight, to a substantive and positive peace, in which all men will respect the dignity and worth of human personality. Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. Like a boil that can never be cured so long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must be exposed, with all the tension its exposure creates, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.

    n your statement you assert that our actions, even though peaceful, must be condemned because they precipitate violence. But is this a logical assertion? Isn’t this like condemning a robbed man because his possession of money precipitated the evil act of robbery? Isn’t this like condemning Socrates because his unswerving commitment to truth and his philosophical inquiries precipitated the act by the misguided populace in which they made him drink hemlock? Isn’t this like condemning Jesus because his unique God consciousness and never ceasing devotion to God’s will precipitated the evil act of crucifixion? We must come to see that, as the federal courts have consistently affirmed, it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts to gain his basic constitutional rights because the quest may precipitate violence. Society must protect the robbed and punish the robber. I had also hoped that the white moderate would reject the myth concerning time in relation to the struggle for freedom. “

    • Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

      Damon, I love that! I seriously doubt most of the people in the photo opp couldn’t tell us where the above came from right off the bat. They might stumble to a guess after looking at the strategically placed pictures and name of the center. I know LaMalfa, their evident key-note speaker couldn’t, not right off, and then would still ramble on about how President Obama actually caused all our problems, just like he did yesterday on the white nationals radio show.

      In appeasement, wool might of the lamb might be pulled by the trump politicians ,”Don’t think God is on the move, we have TRUMP!” here in Redding, one of the Reddest places in California. Nationally,it’s a different story, ” Overall, 67% said Trump has mostly increased racial tensions, including 92% of Democrats, 73% of independents, 88% of Africans Americans and 63% of whites…” http://www.npr.org/2020/06/05/870019283/poll-two-thirds-think-trump-made-racial-tensions-worse-after-george-floyds-death

      • Avatar Candace says:

        While I think showing solidarity with an oppressed group is a first step I think using inspirational quotes and speeches by revered black civil rights activists are just that, inspirational. Quoting them in order to “school” people does not help black people in any way and imo mimics the behavior of the moderates it’s intended to chastise. You help black people by helping to facilitate the changing of people’s minds about racism and what racism means. More importantly you join and support with money, phone calls, petitions, etc., groups such as The Action Pac, Grassroots Law, etc. There is no shortage of tangible, actionable ways to help. Marching to show solidarity is GREAT and useful and needed but not by itself alone.

    • Avatar Candace says:

      Doug, when I was talking about what’s behind the cry of “defund the police” I was speaking in general terms to clarify that for most it doesn’t translate to completely getting rid of an entire police dept. ( although some would be in favor of that as well). Obviously every city and county is different in size and makeup. As far as your other comments regarding your statistics comparing blacks vs whites being murdered at the hands of racist police and your assertion that “systems” are made up of individual people and therefore there can’t exist “systemic” racism (Huh? That’s some serious semantic pretzel logic) I don’t think you and I will ever be in agreement. If as you say, you honestly believe that systemic racism simply does not exist there is absolutely nothing I can say to change your mind. Seeing as I’m not omnipotent, I can’t argue something into existence for you; that’s something you’d need to do your own. Good luck to you.

  4. Avatar Tony Ten Broeck says:

    Jon,
    Could you clarify the sentence:

    ‘Michael Johnson, Anderson’s police chief, said there are times when people blue that revered “thin blue line” of officers lining up to protect everybody, “equally and unbiasedly, and we can’t have that.” ‘

    From here, I can’t what the chief meant. At first take it sounded awful, but the meaning could range from merely weak or seriously dangerous.

    I too noted a serious lack of diversity. Where were candidates Bennet and Denny? Was any any Christian organization besides Bethel there? This meeting did not look at problem close-up but from arms length, if they got that close.

    Thank you for providing coverage.

    • Jon Lewis Jon Lewis says:

      Tony, there’s a typo that doesn’t help that poorly constructed sentence. To paraphrase the chief, he said there are times when some officers blur (not ‘blue’) that thin blue line of officers who line up to protect everybody, equally and without bias. The chief said the law enforcement community can’t have that ‘blurring.’ I hope that helps clarify things.

      As for your diversity observation, all I can offer is that the event (organized by Shasta County Citizens Advocating Respect) was described as a press conference. It was not a town hall meeting or a candidate forum. The stated purpose: “Assure the community that it’s time for systemic change to stop social justice.” I do know that Shasta Interfaith, represented by Lynn Fritz, is a consortium of several churches and faiths. Julie Winter, a Bethel member, was one of the speakers representing local government. Bethel Church itself was not represented.

      Hope that helps.
      Cheers,
      Jon

      • Avatar Kathryn McDonald says:

        “it’s time for systemic change to stop social justice.” If that was the purpose, they certainly invited many of the right people.

    • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

      Tony,

      Julie Winter was there as a Redding City Councilwoman – not as a Bethel Church Elder. However, I think the City of Redding could have chosen a better representative for this event, since Bethel pastors scream from the pulpit that church members risk being struck dead by God if they don’t support the current Racist-in-Chief.

    • I fixed the typo. Sorry for the confusion. Thanks for catching it.

  5. Avatar Carla says:

    I see some doubts expressed in the comments about the motivations or sincerity held by the people in this press conference. What then, do those of you suggest? How does Shasta County move forward? What are your ideas?

    • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

      “What are your ideas?”

      I’m just spitballing here, but I inclined toward an independent investigative group of non-partisan concerned citizens. Impartial observers that capture video footage, conduct informal interviews, and gather community impressions wrt extraordinary events.
      Right out of the box, I came up with FOGIES:
      “Fat Old Guys Investigating Enforcement Scenarios”
      I even have a motto”
      “We used to be old and in the way, but now we’re old and in your face…”
      Which – may or may not be your cup of tea…
      But, like I mentioned, I am just spitballing here…

  6. Good morning. Dang. Look what happened on ANC while I was sleeping it!

    First, thank you, Jon, for your reporting and writing on this event. It’s always nice to have a Jon Lewis byline on ANC. (Sorry about missing the typo. All fixed now.)

    Second, I appreciate *Marilyn Traugott, Eddie McAllister and all the members of Shasta County Citizens Advocating Respect for coming up with this idea and hosting this event at the MLK Center. I think it’s a testimony to SCCAR that so many leaders agreed to participate in this exercise for a few hours on a Friday morning. I found the responses interesting and illuminating (some more than others), and see them as words to hold up in the future to see if leaders’ stated intentions match their actions.

    My heart went out to the organizers of this event for the critical comments that erupted right out of the gate here, because I truly believe this exercise was meant as a bridge in our community at a time when our country is so fractured and polarized, something that’s certainly true here in the north state.

    To the point made about the political makeup of the speakers, Shasta County is a red county, where the majority voted for Trump, so it’s no surprise that our leaders would reflect that political leaning, too. They’re who we’ve got, folks.

    I know for a fact that not everyone who’s depicted in this story is a Trump supporter. But even if they were, that wasn’t what this event was about. I believe it was created for unity and to take a stand and take the temperatures of our leaders at a time when we need to know our leaders’ hearts and mindsets. Sometimes, what’s most interesting is what’s not said.

    Today, I’m reminded of that saying about being the change we want to see. I ponder how I would answer those two questions. I’ll have to think about that and get back to you. In the meantime, I would love to hear your answers.

    *(Disclosure: Marilyn Traugott and I are friends.)

    Here are the questions, for your consideration: 1) What would a safe Shasta County look like and 2) What will you do to promote a community that respects the rights and safety of everyone.

    Thanks for letting me weigh in. Enjoy this gorgeous breezy Saturday. I’m going to go enjoy my coffee outside. Eventually, I may actually get dressed.

    • Avatar Adam says:

      Good idea to bring it back to the questions. My answers:
      1) There would be a citizens oversight committee to oversee complaints against LE for federal, state, county and city LE agencies within the county; the AG would independently investigate all lethal use of force; HS graduation and incarceration percentages would match the County demographics; extensive Crisis Intervention Technique training for officers of all agencies for Mental Health calls; a balanced and rigorous solution to homelessness and substance abuse; militia members would come to a protest but chose to leave their guns and sheath knives at home;
      2) I will listen to my neighbors and fellow citizens and hear their viewpoints even if I don’t agree 100%; I will “laugh with those who laugh and weep with those who weep;” I will be vulnerable and transparent; I will vote my conscious and not my party if they diverge; I will acknowledge genuine reform and when LE gets it right; I will hold my leaders accountable and demand transparency;

  7. Avatar Anita Brady says:

    “Bridgett defined a safe Shasta County as one where people are free to enjoy everything the county has to offer, “free from hate and where everybody feels heard. Additionally, people would have trust in the criminal justice system”

    .The hypocrisy of DA Brigitte’s words are astounding. She has personally cleared more than one officer for shooting unarmed citizens. The motto of local law enforcement seems to be “fill them with holes, then re-evaluate if they need more”. There are bodies to prove these words. De-escalation seems to be a joke with our “Blue” and Khaki” and they have historical evidence that the local justice system will let them off.

  8. Avatar Anita Brady says:

    “Peace, equality, unity and solutions-oriented policing are the keys for law enforcement, he said. “If we’re not progressive and unified, we will not move forward as a community,” ANDERSON Chief Johnson said.”

    Says the guy whose plan to deal with the homeless in Anderson is to make their lives such hell, they relocate to Redding.

  9. Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

    Im not sure anyone is questioning the purpose of this press conference.
    What is being questioned is the sincerity of many of those speaking.
    Certainly there are people among the group that clearly see and understand the issue.
    While others are only having their eyes opened during the past 12 days. Coming out on Friday while speaking the correct words and phrases does not forgive them for all of a sudden qualify them as supporters or allies of racial equality.
    Racial equality is not going to change in our area. Overnight. Racial prejudice is in bred among the majority of Shasta county residents. You cannot believe the words that come out of the mouths of our “leaders” without acknowledging what their actions and words from the past have reinforced the mentality and fueled the fire of hatred and racism in our county.

    I say the following without reservations. Those who support the racism and hatred of trump, who are willing to re-elect the racist fat ass orange pos cannot be trusted to represent everyone equally.

  10. Avatar Adam says:

    Ah, Mr. LaMalfa, I think there might be more than one bad apple out of 800,000. Even if well-intentioned (how do you know that all 800K are well-intentioned?), results are what count. Statistics matter, voices matter, what our communities are saying matters. Black LE friends have described to me being pulled over, harassed, and discriminated against by LE that don’t know them or that they were officers when out of uniform, or while growing up (one just put up with it, then came back in uniform and paid a visit to the discriminating officer at HQ). One of these black police officers told me that in most predominately black churches, the elders hand out a card to young teens with 10 points on how to survive a police encounter. I only mention this to say that this problem is reported by people we may (to our shame) listen to more than others.

    What Black Lives Matter is asking for is not new. Many black communities have been asking for and demanding equal protection, equal due process, better schools in the community, but one thing–police reform and end to police brutality–has been a constant theme since the civil rights era (and we know what had to be overcome before the civil rights era). Why are we not listening? If we think it’s enough that racial restrictive covenants on land deeds are now illegal, we are not listening. There have been peaceful protests, riots, law suits, DOJ investigations, advocacy, letters to congress people, attempts and successes at justice system reform, and we are still here. I won’t go into it here, but I have first hand knowledge of the “thin blue line” “code of silence” and officers covering for each other. It doesn’t start with excessive lethal force. It’s being too rough during an arrest, kicking a suspects legs when an officer walks by who is already subdued, a stop and frisk without reasonable suspicious, pushing into someone’s house without express permission, making sexual advances, downloading private intimate pictures from a detainee’s phone to your personal phone, grabbing the back of the neck of someone who doesn’t pose any reasonable danger but has pissed an officer off, grabbing a $100 for pizza and beer after a search that results in a seizure of $50,000. These “peccadillos” happen often, and rarely will fellow officers, even if they don’t participate in the bad behavior, report on or write up a fellow officer. Some may try to get moved to a different unit or patrol partner, but rarely inform superiors. It is understandable, if reprehensible. Not to mention the places and times where LE officers have been involved in illegal activity without (yes, I know that of course that is the exception, but I am responding to the 800K well-intentioned officers statement). At what point in this trajectory is an officer considered a “bad apple that no amount of training” will fix? are those who are silent “bad apples?” This normalcy, in my opinion, leads to the type of responses and encounters wherein unarmed citizens are unnecessarily killed I ask LE to ask themselves if in every mental health or other crisis intervention situations (or bursting into the wrong address on a search warrant, etc) they were to handle it the same way they would expect another officer to treat their brother, sister, mother, father, nephew, niece, would it be different? By the way, I am talking about police officers of all races. Don’t take my word for it. Here is an article by a veteran ex-police officer who happens to be black. Anyone who cares about what our country is facing right now should read it (it was written in 2016). He lays out, from the inside, the abuses and how officers get away with it, and ends with “we need police officers, but we need them to be accountable.” https://www.vox.com/2015/5/28/8661977/race-police-officer.

    I also think it is worth noting that while black men are 2.7 x more likely to be killed by police than white males, white officers are not more likely to shoot unarmed civilians of any race that non-white officers (see a peer reviewed study at https://www.npr.org/2019/07/26/745731839/new-study-says-white-police-officers-are-not-more-likely-to-shoot-minority-suspe).

    I recommend that we all read Color of Law, the New Jim Crow, and books by reform police chiefs such as Call to Rise by Chief David Brown. Police reform and equal opportunity is is something where (hopefully) left/right/middle, republican/democrat/libertarian/independent/democratic socialist/other can agree on. If not, we have a problem. We have to HEAR, and not filter what the community is saying to us through our biases and preconceptions and political frame, and if our leaders won’t listen, then they need to be voted out and replaced by those who will.

  11. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    The formation of such a group as the SCCAR in today’s sociopolitical climate is nothing more than part of a nationwide knee jerk reaction – a proactive display of hypercompassionate response. It was most likely spun at the statewide level out of the governor’s office under threat of withholding essential county funding.

    This typifies the sideways response we’ve always seen. Most of these players wouldn’t recognize real progress in the area of social justice if it bit them in the collective butt. It’s simply another attempt to placate a nervously concerned public till the entire incident is forgotten in the smokescreen of the next social crisis. You don’t advocate respect, you earn it.

    • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

      Bill,
      I doubt these press conferences were ordered from the governor’s office.
      Do ya think most of the attendees would have participated.
      I believe someone who scheduled this event was being progressive.

      • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

        “Do ya think most of the attendees would have participated.?

        Not of their own volition…

        Go back and reread my post. It’s a simple matter to make political entities do that which they ordinarily would not, and the most effective way for any democratic governor to ensure his partisan adversaries cooperate is threat of withholding funds. Shasta County does not exist without some measure of state subsidy. The buck is often passed this way, and there is no greater inducement than one of budgetary concern, especially in a financially strapped county suffering from a diminishing tax base.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      Bill, SCCAR has been around for decades now in Redding, they are not newly formed, if that’s what you are trying to say. I moved to Redding in 2000 and became involved with them then.

      • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

        “…SCCAR has been around for decades now in Redding…”

        Appears to have been a pretty deconstructive enterprise. I see an entire county held in thinly veiled contempt by an elected few. The actions of the few county stewards to which we have all borne witness and discussed at length these past few weeks has spoken volumes wrt the extent of any effort at advocacy of respect. Zero. Zilch. The concept is bingo fuel. Outta gas. A gainfully respected, respectful, and judiciously impassioned constituency probably woulda euthanized the whole effort long ago, because that targeted advocacy of respect has proven as elusive as the proverbial fart in a windstorm.

  12. Avatar ADAM R SANDERS says:

    800K well-intentioned LE officers in America, and training cannot get rid of one bad apple? I suggest that Mr. LaMalfa read https://www.vox.com/2015/5/28/8661977/race-police-officer by a veteran Saint Luis Police Officer. I personally have black LE friends who have told me about being harassed, unlawfully detained, and mistreated by LE while out of uniform, while growing up, and explained that in the predominantly black churches they grew up in, the elders hand out cards to the teenaged youth on how to survive a police encounter. Considering that our fellow citizens and community members have been demanding equal protection and an end to police brutality for decades, through peaceful protests, not-so-peaceful protests, voting campaigns, through law suits, in short in every way available within our system, why are we still even having to have reform still? THAT is the question. Reform starts with hearing, admitting, and drastic change. It is unsettling to read the demands of protesters for police reform sound almost identical every few years for the past 60 years. If we have progressed so far past racial restrictive covenants on land deeds, why are our communities still demanding reform and telling us that we as a country and our leaders have not gotten it right yet? This is not just about George Floyd. It is about all victims of police corruption and brutality and mass incarceration. Statistics matter. If one portion of our multi-racial/ethnic/religious/economic status/pluralistic society has disparate outcomes, how is this ONLY the problem of the individual?

    I sincerely hope that left/right/middle/republican/libertarian/democrat/social democrats/independents not filter this national crisis (again) through political and ideological frameworks. That would be like arguing over the color of the water buckets while trying to put out a fire.

    In our criminal justice system, we demand personal responsibility and accountability. How about societal responsibility and accountability? We don’t need a bandage of platitudes and a few token concessions. We need open-heart surgery.

    From personal experience and accounts from and overhearing LE, the culture of silence and the “thin blue line” has to be addressed, and hard. It doesn’t start with kneeling on a detainees neck for 8 minutes. It starts with and aggressive arrest and control technique, with pushing a door open and stepping into a house without express or implied permission, with stopping and frisking without reasonable suspicion, with grabbing the back of a citizens neck and lowering them to the ground and then laughing and leaving because the citizen was a smart aleck, with grabbing a $100 bill from a high cash drug related seizure to get pizza with your partner after work, with kicking a suspects legs while he is detained and the officer is walking by, with lying about seeing something in plain view that gets you access into a vehicle, etc. When these actions are observed by other LE, how often will the fellow officers report or write up another officer, even if they don’t agree with? Very, very rarely. I won’t even go into how some officers get away with outside of work criminal activity for years (it is hard to notice bad behavior by our friends). In my opinion, this is where the surgery starts.

  13. Avatar Steve Towers says:

    I’m seeing a lot of extreme cynicism in the comments above from liberals. I really don’t want to join in. I want to believe that every single one of the conservative speakers at the event was being honest about the need for positive change, and weren’t engaged in whitewashing. I’ll go further: I’m *desperate* to believe them.

    But for me to really be fully convinced, some of these local conservatives need to find the courage to say that they’ll no longer support the guy who has done more than anyone in our lifetimes to normalize division, hatred, and bigotry among Americans. I don’t need to name him or describe what he’s said and done—they all know.

    • Steve, I’m desperate to believe them, too.

      • Avatar Candace says:

        Extreme cynicism isn’t in itself a negative thing when it’s being applied to people and their actions which in the past have consistently shown to be in direct conflict with upholding the civil liberties of marginalized populations whether they be poc, lgbtq, homeless, etc. I think it’s safe to say most of us are desperate to see positive change in those arenas and want to believe people in local, state and federal positions of power when they say they too want to work towards those shared goals. So far the “wait and see” approach hasn’t worked out so great. Words are words and we all know that they can be powerful tools but the “proof’s in the pudding”. I’ll always keep hoping but I won’t always keep waiting.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          Bill — I honestly can’t tell if you missed my point entirely.

          Bottom line: I was being as cynical as anyone else. I don’t think you can support you-know-who and claim to hold values that are the opposite of his. Complicity with an overt racist is racism.

          “I mean, I don’t like *everything* Hitler does…but the Autobahn!”

    • Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

      Steve, I’m not exactly desperate to believe that Trump supporting politicians are somehow going to change their tune. Especially folks like Doug LaMafa. Sorry, I just don’t think it’s going to happen. Take a look at la Malfia’s voting record,; persistently anti-labor anti-education anti-environmental anti LGBQT, anti choice, and pro-Trump, 96.5% of the time.

      On the other hand, I do admit to being a bit cynical at times but in all honesty I think it’s the Trump supporting politicians, again, some of the very politicians speaking at the “press conference,” who are exceptionally cynical when they praise protesters and Martin Luther King on one hand, and then actually say in public that peaceful, non-violent, Black Lives Matter protesters are in fact violating the law by protesting, after Trump tells them to leave… and they don’t.

      I’m not being cynical here when I say, absolutely, fire up the smudge pot with sage, pull out the banjo and guitar and let’s sing, We Shall Overcome, Kumbaya, or let’s all go have a spiritual sweat down at the lodge. I can tell you that I came from a family where doing all of the above, plus marching in civil right demonstrations as well as Vietnam demonstrations, are some of my earliest memories. My point is this, after the march, after the singing, what are we going to do?

      Martin Luther King Jr, would say, “get educated and informed, get out there, register and vote.” And I truly believe that he would say voting for Trump politicians isn’t exactly in your best self-interest, like most of the African American politicians who are active in the political process today are stating.

      I know the folks of the SCARR are all peaceful, intelligent, concerned individuals and community leaders, with very good intention. My beef is simply this, why do we persistently see conservative politicians at these events and politicians who are running against them to try and change the culture of institutional racism, poverty, and install justice into our governmentals process, are not invited. In fact, I believe Gregory is still running as an independent, I could be wrong. But even he wasn’t there. Is it because Gregory is an avid anti-Trump advocate for this organization? Well maybe, but it might be a bit cynical to think so.

      There are some wonderful progressive candidates trying to defeat conservatives in our neck of the woods, conservatives that align themselves with Trump. Why? Because they actually believe, talk and walk the walk, of fighting against racism, sexism, poverty and social inequity while fighting for social justice equality and voting rights at the same time. Where are they? Well, I was told, oh you see… we don’t get involved in politics…. Cynical? Well, maybe.

      One last rant here. I was trying actively to get one of our politicians running against one of the arch conservative people appearing at the SCAR events, this time as the keynote speaker, to hold an event at the Martin Luther King Center. My thinking was this… politicians need to go to the heart of diversity, it’s too easy for them to stand outside, hold an event where you’re going to get a lot of white people, all good liberals, mind you, but not much in the way of diversity. So, I contacted the city of Redding, filled out the renter form on line, and submitted it. The next day I was told oh, we don’t do that, you have to talk to the Martin Luther King Center folks. And I did. And again, I was told, no we’re not going to let you rent this place for your political rally, we don’t do politics and we don’t want to be aligned with anybody political (other than Doug LaMalfa?). Could you imagine Martin Luther King Jr saying that? Maybe I was off base and should have stated I would like to rent it for a press conference?

      I don’t mean by any imagination to state the folks in SCAR are Trump supporters or are not good socially concerned advocates, not by any means. I do mean to state talking to talk, needs to be followed up by walking the walk, and besides doing the great social events that they put on, and sorry if I sound cynicalif it’s cynical, but thoughts and prayers alone, ain’t going to do it.

      Geez I got to find a sweat lodge…. way overdue.

      • Avatar Randy says:

        LaMalfa, like Trump, speaks only to his base and he is not at all concerned about the accuracy or honesty of his words.

  14. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    “I’m seeing a lot of extreme cynicism in the comments above from liberals.”
    Gosh darn those danged libtards. Somebody musta left the gate open down at Atascadero…

    “I’ll go further: I’m *desperate* to believe them.”

    I’m reminded of this scene from the Wizard of Oz:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=_8lXfAPf4Vc

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      Bill…look at the article from Annelise about the Redding protest. Instead of comments on the success of the demonstration and how the police acted professionally, the passion of the marchers, and that there was no violence…it ended up being 200 comments on rumors and allegations about local law enforcement. Mr Floyd was all but forgotten, the focus turned into meaningless side issues that had nothing to do with the cause.

      Same thing going on here, instead of praising our leaders for starting a conversation…nothing but criticism. Sure is difficult to make you all happy.

  15. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    Doug –

    In answer to your directive that I indulge the facade, I quote Steve:

    “But for me to really be fully convinced, some of these local conservatives need to find the courage to say that they’ll no longer support the guy who has done more than anyone in our lifetimes to normalize division, hatred, and bigotry among Americans.”

    The greatest social injustices of our lifetime will not be resolved by words, the formation if transient quasi-sensitivity groups, or the further political fattening of a bloated status quo. Unless these players are willing to commit their focus, their support, the courage of their action…and their vote – it will all remain a transient facade, a temporary diversion, a David Copperfield style illusion.
    The biggest elephant in the room is the contrived deceit of political gain at the expense of others.
    Gonna take a whole lotta Houdini to cure that, and I don’t see that kinda magic here…

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      Bill, that is why I look at the actions of individuals, and not just the words. If these civic leaders leave the podium and go back to business as usual, and forget any of this happened, then we should call them out…and vote them out if need be.

      But really…isn’t that what we all do? After Michael Brown, we had the same discussions, the same demonstrations, the same riots…but then, we got tired of that crisis and moved on. We forgot about the issue until George Floyd. And again, we’ll have our little rallies so we can feel all warm and fuzzy like we actually accomplished something. It’ll blow over and we will forget about Mr Floyd…instead, we’ll yell and scream and obsess about President Trump. Maybe Congress could have accomplished something substantial about race relations if they didn’t spend 2 years obsessing about Trump and impeachment.

      As far as President Trump goes, I have seen his actions towards the black community, and it has been helpful. From the Opportunity Zones he created to help poor communities bring in business, him providing help for Historically Black Colleges, the increase of wages for minorities and the lowering of unemployment, the prison reform he championed, the sending in of federal resources in Chicago that has lowered the murders in that city by about 300 last year These are all substantial actions that helped the black community.

      S yes, I believe we are mostly on the same page.

      • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

        Doug Cook,

        Trump’s “Opportunity Zones” are largely designed to enrich wealthy developers and their wealthy investors by pouring billions in federal tax incentives into luxury projects, high-priced rentals, and other things that in no way benefit low-income residents. In fact this program is basically just federally-funded gentrification, which always harms the poor.

        There is now a greater discrepancy in wages between Black and White people than when Trump took office. In addition, Black unemployment (and unemployment in general) began dropping steadily early in Obama’s first term, which has actually slowed under Trump.

        Hate crimes and other violence directed against minorities has soared under Trump, which was inevitable given his blatantly racist rhetoric, numerous incitements to violence, and open praise for Nazis and other violent white supremacist groups, who he rushes to defend at every opportunity.

        Trump’s figures on violent crime are just as distorted and/or patently false as everything else he claims. Violent crime in the major cities has actually been dropping since the 1990’s. Some violent crime recently dropped by 5 percent, but crimes like rape and aggravated assault have surged (no surprise there).

        Your post above is just a collection of Trump/right-wing misrepresentations.

  16. Avatar Candace says:

    Doug, again, no, that is not what we all do. While I agree that it’s definitely a common human trait to fall back into complacency there are many that have been and continue to “do the work” behind the scenes of what you read in ANC comment threads. Younger generations other than yours and mine are stepping up to the challenge and have woven it into their daily lives. That’s not complacency; that’s the intentional changing of the world in which they live. My daughter is 25 and helps to register voters and shouts from the rooftop to her peers about the need to register to vote and then actually get out and vote. She’s trying to educate and facilitate change and is in no way alone in her endeavors. Shasta County is a “drop” in a Tsunami wave of “No Justice, No Peace”. The “drop” is important but in no way represents the whole.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      The problem as I see it Candace, is the ‘systemic racism’ tag is designed to be deliberately non specific. It is a slogan deliberately created so that you can never alleviate the problem. If you say systemic racism, you never actually have to cite the policy you think is racist or point to the person you think is racist. Instead, you just say everything is racist. Racism is just out there in the atmosphere. So what do you want to do about it today? I can’t go back in time and change stuff that happened in the past. So what policy do you want to pursue today that will alleviate ‘systemic racism’? Same as ‘white privilege’ Another slogan to show the world that white people are inherently racist. Who’s the racist? I guess I am because I am white…but I’m not a racist, I haven’t done anything racist. But maybe its implicit…Maybe I don’t even know I am a racist. So like systemic racism…it is vague, you don’t have to prove i am a racist…I just am.

      It’s not really clear what people are stumping for other than that generalized sense of America being bad. Every incident of a black person killing a white person is not indicative of a bigger problem, it is just an individual incident…but every incident of a white person killing a black person is indicative of broader American historic racism. Can’t have it both ways.

  17. Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

    The bombshell below was posted to my Bethel watchdog group by someone who attended today’s “protest” organized by Bethel Church (the same Bethel Church that donated a half-million-dollars to RPD). Note the incredible double standard by local law enforcement:

    “This ‘protest’ at the park is BS. It’s just a huge Bethel promo. They want the march to be silent, yet there’s been nothing but speeches for an hour, with numerous usages of “awaken, arise, believe, revival” and lots of praying. The police captains are here. Sheriff Magrini is here. Where were they last night? Oh yeah, on the roof with sniper rifles. Not to take anything away from the beautiful march we had yesterday, but there aren’t drones here, no helicopters, the cops are literally having fun riding their motorbikes around on the bike track. It’s just weird. There has hardly been any mention of George Floyd. I don’t think I heard the names Ahmad Arbery or Brianna Taylor. There’s booths. People donating to the Bethel group organizing it. Bill Johnson rolled up with his wife in their dope ass BMW with the license plate that says “beni bmw”.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      That is interesting Patrecia…because I actually went down to Caldwell Park today to check out the event. I stayed about an hour or so. It looked like to me from what I saw that ‘A Beloved Community’ were the organizers, not Bethel. I saw a diverse mixture of participants. Yes, lots of speeches…some with a religious feel, I believe the pastor from the Second Baptist Church in Redding spoke…not from Bethel. There was about an hour of speeches, and then the silent march.

      You probably actually believe there were snipers on the rooftops in the other protest, don’t you **sigh**. Your ‘source’ is widely biased and wrong. But that is the nature of your anti-Bethel hate group.

      But Patrecia…let’s for the sake of argument it was a Bethel organized event…which I saw no proof of. So what? If they didn’t participate in a event like this, you would be criticizing them for their silence…so they just can’t win.

      • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

        Doug Cook,

        I have no idea whether you were there or not (for all of an hour). I’ve seen social media posts by several Bethel representatives who discussed the planning of this event, but it’s certainly possible that members of other churches and organizations took part in it. One way or another Bethel exploited a heinous murder to the hilt. In addition, the Big Man himself (Bill Johnson) wouldn’t bother showing up if he didn’t believe his people were firmly in charge. Bethel leaders are all about controlling the message and dominating the discourse.

        And perhaps you’d like to explain why local law enforcement had such radically different responses to this “protest” and the recent non-Bethel-affiliated protest.

        I also don’t appreciate you referring to my watchdog group as a “hate group”. There are many people (and many similar groups) concerned about Bethel’s admitted, in-progress take-over of the area for their religion.

      • Avatar Randy says:

        Did you hear any of the speakers call for justice in the killing of George Floyd? Did you hear any of the speakers calling for racial equality? Did you hear any of the speakers calling for accountability of LE who abuse innocent citizens?

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          Well yes Randy…that was the whole point…what do you think they were protesting?

          • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

            The link I posted further down the page is to the Bethel group that was the primary organizer of this prayer revival (per media reports). Bethel’s attitude has always been that Black people are playing the victim, and don’t really have much to complain about. A couple of years ago when Bethel leaders claimed that early abortion is as bad as the lynchings of countless Black people by the KKK (a comparison that was NOT appreciate by the Black community, for obvious reasons), a highly pulbicized comment was made by one of Bethel’s leading “pastors” to the effect that Black people are hard to work with because they all have a chip on their shoulders and an imaginary persecution complex.

            I’m sure many of the non-Bethel-affiliated people who attended this revival were sincere in their desire to address the actual issues. However, people in my Bethel watchdog group have been posting screen shots of comments made by Bethel members (with their various “ministries”) on social media etc. while planning this event that they wish everyone would just “put away the race card”, and similar comments that were contemptuous of the issues.

            There was also considerable debate about whether they had to wear black, because they didn’t want to be identified with Black Lives Matter. In fact, a couple of Bethel leaders just posted an article titled “The Top Ten Reasons I Don’t Support the Black Lives Matter Movement”, which is every bit as racist and full of lies as it sounds.

          • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

            It was a SILENT march.
            Tells us what they said about police killings?
            About racial equality?
            About Floyd?

    • Avatar Candace says:

      Patrecia, if true, that surprises you? If true that’s no bombshell; it’s business as usual in Redding, CA.

      • Avatar Candace says:

        I dunno Patrecia, the photos I just looked at on the RS site show a lot of the same signs shown at the other protests. Going by appearances only (I wasn’t there) it doesn’t appear to be void of the original BLM messaging(?).

        • Avatar Candace says:

          *devoid

          • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

            Candace,

            I just checked out the RS article and photos, and can see the source of the confusion. Apparently a number of groups converged on the park today for what the article called a “prayer revival and march”. This is definitely the event Bethel has been working on behind the scenes, since its members have been high-fiving each other on social media about what a coup it was to get Redding’s Chief of Police and the Shasta County Sheriff to speak at and attend their “revival”.

            Funny that all it takes for the police to put away their guns and shields, come down off the roof tops, and actually endorse an event is just to mention “prayer” and bang the bible.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Patrecia, perhaps you can show me in any video the police having their guns out in any other Redding protest. and can you show me any proof that there were snipers on the rooftops? Can you show me any proof that the RPD was anything but professional, polite and accommodating during the protest the other night?

            This is what you love to do…you read a comment asking why the Chief was on a balcony, then you extrapolate that comment into the police must have been on rooftops…gee, what are they doing on the rooftops?, my gosh, they must have sniper rifles.

            Why do you insist on doing this? Why can’t religious people have a protest too? Do you want to criticize the pastor of the 2nd Baptist Church for attending? She seemed like a nice person.

            It’s one thing to comment on your home town from your new home in Arizona…it’s another thing to just stir up s**t with your hyperbole and gross exaggerations. . That is not appreciated.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          Candace, I actually stopped by the rally yesterday to check it out. I saw a wide range of participants… young old, black, white, hipster dudes, old hippies, old farts like me, children. It was very peaceful, the crowd was quiet and respectful listening to the speakers. I stayed just a little over an hour.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          Candace, if you pull up the ‘The Beloved Community, Shasta County’ on Facebook…they were the ones that organized the event. They have a number of videos up showing the going ons. This is their description of their group on FB

          “The SC Beloved Community is an inclusive, solution oriented, grassroots movement, dedicated to networking and unifying relationships in our diverse community in which everyone will experience Solidarity. Unity. Respect. & Equality. — FOR S.U.R.E.”

          Their address is listed as the MLK center on Sheridan St.

          • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

            Actually Doug (per news accounts) that event was organized by the Redding Hope Initiative and the Beloved Community. The Redding Hope Inititative is a Bethel group. See the Facebook page of its umbrella organization below where this event is promoted (Hope City of Redding), and note the list of links on the left – to Bethel’s Supernatural School, Bethel Pastor Eric Johnson, and Bethel Global Response.

            Bethel isn’t open and upfront about anything it does, which is not surprising given that its goal is to sneak into positions of power and control. That’s what 7 Mountains Dominionism (the subject of several books by Bethel leaders) is all about.

            https://www.facebook.com/HOPECityRedding

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            So what? Do you have a problem with ‘The Beloved Community’ sponsoring the event, or just Bethel? ? You mean Bethel shouldn’t be allowed to participate in rallies? Does your hatred for the church go so deep that you don’t want them to have the right to protest as anyone else?

            I’m still waiting for your proof that RPD had such radically different responses to the different protests.. what are your examples. And I’m still waiting for your proof that there were snipers on rooftops last week.

            I’ll be here all day…

          • Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

            Actually I’m hoping they weren’t together. It’s hard to imagine a worthwhile organization like Beloved Community working with Bethel, given its racist history and attitudes (see my post above re: Bethel’s remarks about the KKK), and its rabid support of the most racist, violence-inciting president ever.

  18. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    “This ‘protest’ at the park is BS. It’s just a huge Bethel promo.

    Not meaning any disrespect here, simply making an observation based upon a lifetime of experience with a spectrum of folks, representing a variety of religions across a large contingency of regional and spiritual domains.
    Many devotees of the church of their choice view their ongoing relationship with God as one of continued forgiveness against their social transgressions, their sins, and their trespass against others. Many churches provide weekly avenues of forgiveness…confession, penance, additional tithing, etc.
    As a result, many in a structured church environ find compelling rationale for their errant behavior, and go to great lengths to be the biggest, most ornery bastard they can possibly muster – just to cleanse and restore their soul at the next session of absolution.
    As a result, church endeavors like the “protest” to which are today witness, take on a social rationale of paying penance, paying dues, or tithing…sometimes to the extent that the intended message is lost, displaced by the spiritual “boost” of a shared absolution – a churchy-oriented obligation has been fulfilled, the soul further cleansed by participation, feelings of guilt replaced by social/spiritual reinforcement.
    No disrespect intended. JMO

  19. Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

    Great reporting Jon. Was the public invited and if so how were they notified? How was the march in the park advertised? I would have loved to attend this “press conference.”

  20. Frank Treadway Frank Treadway says:

    I was at the soccer field in Caldwell Park for the rally, or whatever name one wants to attach. I saw about 350 persons, mostly wearing Black T shirts, wearing masks, and listening to a variety of speakers, mostly from Bethel, or one of their affiliates. Was I uneasy because 95% of attendees were from Bethel, queasy would be the more appropriate word. Something was missing about the messages and BLM, not sure, but it just wasn’t there. I mean trying to pray away the racism just doesn’t work for me. If even half of those attendees were to send a Twitter to POTUS to work with Congress to deliver some meaningful legislation regarding our country’s inequities of people of color, then I’d have hope for them. But, Bethel folks are basically hand fed much of what has been stated before in this email stream, keep quiet and everything will be OK. And there was law enforcement, plain clothes militia and drone overhead.

    • Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

      Frank, are you talking about the event announced by one of the leaders at the MLK center meeting the other day called, a peace march?

      You mean there was a lot of Bethel Church folks there and little mention of Black Lives matter? You mean an event that has been reported as a Bethel Church supported event, the same Bethel Church that condemns LGBQT people to hell? The same bethel Church that claims Democrats are are socialists, doing the work of Satan? The same church that praises Trump persistently? Oh interesting,

      Did they sing some really cool songs like, Kumbaya My Lord and then go do the Cupid dance in the middle of the field?

      Wow, well who knows, perhaps bethel Church leadership is having a reflection of guilty conscience or something. But yeah, the skeptic in me says I kind of doubt it. Ill be looking for more bethel Church endorsement of Trump in the coming months and more condemnation of anyone that does not support Trump to hell.

      Thank you for your report.

    • Avatar Anonymous Heckler says:

      It is really vile that a church would be involved in advocating for equal treatment of all Americans regardless of color. Thank you, Frank Treadway, for spotlighting Bethel’s awful influence on this community.

  21. Frank Treadway Frank Treadway says:

    I have been at 3 of the Redding protests for the killing of George Floyd. At all 3 I witnessed combat dressed law enforcement. At all 3 I witnessed snipers with infrared scopes. All because there was a ‘rumor’ AntiFa. or some disruptive group. would attend these demonstrations. I’ve found out that most folks don’t even know who, or what, AntiFa is. And bringing out the Riot Squad on rumors is frightening. My continuous thought while peacefully standing there was, am I in the scope of those on the roofline of the city and county buildings ? Who are they going to choose to shoot ? What’s stopping an officer from hearing an incorrect order and start shooting ? I strongly suggesst the RPD and City of Redding officials stop the rooftop observation with snipers. This will only bring further negative attention to Redding, not to mention law suits.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      Frank, one of the reasons I went to the Saturday rally was to see for myself what was going on and compare it to other ‘eye witness’ accounts. It is not surprising to me that your account of Saturday’s events was grossly misrepresented. I can only surmise that your account of the events of last Tuesday is similar. KRCR put together a pretty good video of the event…Bringing out the riot squad was frightening? What did that ‘riot squad’ do? They blocked the intersection of Eureka St, because the Sgt in charge was concerned about the protesters safety. That frightened you? Did it frighten you when the ‘riot squad’ said , “Good message, bud” to a protester? Or the female member of the ‘riot squad’ that lifted up her visor and shake the hand of a protester?

      You know for a fact that there were snipers on the rooftops? Really? Perhaps it was the Chief and other commanders overseeing the protest to help coordinate those officers on the ground. Could that be a possibility? or do you immediately have to go to the worst case scenario.

      Were you frightened when the police…one of them in military gear was walking hand in hand with the protesters? Frank…if you were frightened attending a peaceful rally where the police acted in a professional, polite and accommodating manner…well, you may want to stay away from any other protests…find your safe place. You misrepresented what happened at Caldwell Park, and misrepresented what happened on Court St.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *