The Goleta City Council will hold a special meeting today and consider adopting a resolution condemning police brutality and declaring racism a public health emergency.
“The City Council has expressed a commitment to making Goleta a welcoming, inclusive, and safe community for everyone, and to promoting free thought and speech, while condemning racism and police brutality, hate speech, bigotry, violence and prejudice,” the staff report reads.
The proposed resolution makes “a commitment to stand in solidarity with the people of Goleta and the local Healing Justice Santa Barbara organization,” the staff report states.
As part of the item, the council will consider authorizing Mayor Paula Perotte to send a letter to Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown on behalf of the council.
The requests in the letter include: demanding transparency and accountability from police; disbanding internal department investigations of police misconduct; creating a civilian review board to investigate police misconduct; prioritizing mental health services and rehabilitation before arresting and incarcerating black people; updating the department’s use of force policies to focus on de-escalation; stopping the isolation of inmates attending court of waiting to be in contact with their layers; reducing jail admissions by redirecting people to community-based mental health and substance abuse treatment services; and demanding institutional support for an annual Juneteenth celebration, which could include a city and county commitment to allocate funds to a celebration of black emancipation and liberation.
The proposed resolution cites the killings of Meagan Hockaday, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Sean Read, Tony McDade, and George Floyd.
“The latest tragedy against George Floyd has kindled the flame of advocacy, activism, protests, and support for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement taking place around the world. The Goleta City Council stands in solidarity with the local Healing Justice Santa Barbara organization, which is demanding action be taken to stop the police brutality, violence and incarceration of black people,” read portions of the proposed letter.
“Keeping in mind our limited knowledge of what policies and measures you and the department have already implemented, we appreciate all and every action taken to end police brutality and systemic racism that exists in our society.”
Sheriff Bill Brown will attend to provide information and answer questions. The city of Goleta contracts with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office for law enforcement.
Today’s meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. and will be held virtually. The meeting will be streamed live on Goleta Channel 19 and online at www.cityofgoleta.org.