By Geneviéve Jones-Wright
Nothing that these Establishment politicians (Republican and Democrat alike) do surprise me anymore, but it still disgusts me. I pray we learn our lesson from June’s election.
Remember when then-candidate, Summer Stephan suggested to the Union-Tribune she was a reformer? Remember when she told voters that she believed law enforcement officers were not above the law? Remember when she said she cared deeply for victims and victims’ families?
All lies. Since being in that seat, she’s cleared every officer involved in the shootings and deaths of San Diegans. Most recently, on September 21, she cleared every officer involved in the death of Earl McNeil although the Medical Examiner ruled his death a homicide.
Let that sink in.
This week she proceeded with the prosecutions of three community members for protesting and demanding answers in regards to the death of Earl McNeil.
I’ll repeat this: She is using her position of power and our tax dollars to prosecute community members for simply asking for Justice for a mentally ill man who went to the police for help and who ended up dead in their custody–instead of prosecuting the officers who caused his death.
Let that sink in.
Today, Myrtle Cole took a page out of Stephan’s playbook of lies. The woman who was told to “resign or else” by her constituents for saying that “Black people commit the crimes” so they should be racially profiled is now sending mailers to her district claiming she is a criminal justice reformer.
After being forced to apologize, she then created a “do nothing” board in the form of the Citizens Advisory Board on Police/Community Relations (CAB) to make it look like she was concerned about ending racial profiling. (She claims that she “strengthened” the CAB in her latest mailer.
The truth is that in the last few months, key members of this board have left, because after two years of inaction it was apparent that the creation of the board was all a ploy for Cole to get back in the good graces of her constituents.)
Apology or not, her record shows she meant those words.
As Council President, Ms. Cole sets the agenda for San Diego’s City Council and has used this power to block a charter amendment to San Diego’s civilian police oversight board, the Community Review Board (CRB), from being placed on the agenda.
This amendment would allow more transparency and accountability between law enforcement and the public – an idea that is central to criminal justice reform.
In fact, just this past July, Ms. Cole used a procedure to block San Diegans from even having the opportunity to vote on the issue in this upcoming November election.
Let that sink in. Let it all sink in.
Then let your power sink in. The power of your vote.
Don’t be fooled. Myrtle Cole is no criminal justice reformer. She is the Establishment and has proven herself time and again to be against the needs of our district. Monica Montgomery, however, is the real deal.
If we learned anything from the June election it’s this:
One – Establishment candidates will say anything to get elected. These poli-trick-ians lie about their values and who they are so they can stay in their seat and retain power. They are forced to adopt the message of their real-deal opponents because the movement has required the narrative to change.
Two – We cannot afford to sit at home on election day. We can’t afford to just sit back and let the Status Quo stay in power. We must tell every friend, family member, co-worker, and neighbor to come out and vote. It’s not enough that you vote the right way, help others do the same. Take them to the polls if you have to.
Geneviéve Jones-Wright is a public defender and justice advocate. She ran for District Attorney in the June Primary.