While we applaud [Alameda County District Attorney] Nancy O’Malley for her condemnation of George Floyd’s death, O’Malley has done very little to address police brutality in Alameda County. Mr. Floyd’s death, like countless others at the hands of police forces around the country, is criminal. Police racism, misconduct, brutality, and inequity needs to be addressed and police need to be held accountable. O’Malley rightly says, “We join those who raise their voices against police brutality, racism and inequity.” Yet, she systematically fails to take corrective actions against police brutality in her own backyard.
O’Malley failed to hold police officers accountable for the killings of several African Americans in Alameda County, including Stephen Taylor in San Leandro, gunned down by police while in a mental health crisis, and Kayla Moore, a mentally ill transgender woman killed by Berkeley police. These people were suffering from mental health issues when they were killed by police officers. None of the officers were held accountable by O’Malley.
Our son, Jacob Bauer, was not African American, but he was mentally ill and he was killed by the Pleasanton police in 2018, in circumstances eerily similar to how George Floyd was killed. Pleasanton police were called because Jacob’s mental illness was causing a disturbance in a grocery store. Jacob had left the store and was down the street when he was confronted by the Pleasanton police. Officers pinned Jacob to the ground, tasered him multiple times, and applied pressure to Jacob’s neck and chest after he said he couldn’t breathe. An independent autopsy listed cause of death as asphyxia. O’Malley declined to press charges against any of the officers involved.
Jacob’s death was just 3 years after the 2015 death of John Deming Jr., a 19-year-old unarmed man in a mental health crisis who was acting erratically inside a car dealership. Pleasanton police shot and killed him. O’Malley declined to prosecute.
What about the mentally ill people who were brutally and mercilessly killed by police officers right here in O’Malley’s jurisdiction while she does nothing to hold her officers accountable?
At best, O’Malley is a hypocrite, at worst she is using George Floyd’s death as a platform for personal gain. O’Malley is all talk, no action, and doesn’t care about addressing underlying issues of police brutality in her own district.