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First Thursday Report: Accountability Is Key!

A spirited group of activists and faith leaders gathered last Thursday, May 2, at Lincoln Congregational church for the second of Justice Not Jails’s monthly community forums on the theme, “Faith and Race: Carry It On!”

The ACLU’s Jessica Farris was Thursday’s main presenter, outlining the many violations of trust committed by LA County’s new sheriff, Alex Villanueva. Jess also detailed the important prosecutorial accountability project that she is coordinating: a focused effort to contrast our vision of what we really need in an enlightened LA County district attorney to what we have been getting from the incumbent. The current DA, Jackie Lacey, has opposed all major criminal justice reform measures in California (e.g., Prop 47, Prop 57, Prop 64, and SB 1437, which redefined felony murder). Additionally, during the seven years she has been in office, DA Lacey has brought charges against just one cop in a questionable use of force case despite some 400 cases she might have prosecuted.

The question & answer session that followed the presentation was lively and informative. To learn how you can be part of the ACLU-led effort to achieve accountability and change the framing of the DA’s job, please email Jessica Farris: jfarris@aclusocal.org.

Rev. Larry Foy, the Justice Not Jails coordinator and the host for “Carry It On!” opened Thursday’s gathering with a meditation drawn from Dr. King’s call for unity in the freedom struggle and centered on the need for all of us to commit ourselves to a “dangerous unselfishness” in the pursuit of justice.

Rev. Peter Laarman

Photo fo Jessica Farris, Rev. Peter Laarman, Sharon Kyle, and Rev. Larry Foy
Jessica Farris, Rev. Peter Laarman, Sharon Kyle, and Rev. Larry Foy