“The Riders” were a group of Oakland police officers who made a name for themselves abusing and framing Black men. There was evidence against them, but it was destroyed - legally! - because some people just don’t care about holding the police accountable.
According to the Appeal, in 2015, the Superior Court in Alameda County, California destroyed files on the Riders “which consisted of thousands of pages of hearing transcripts, motions, and evidence. [They] were the best public record of the longest criminal trial in Alameda County history.”
California law has provisions that allow files to be destroyed after a certain amount of time has passed. However, just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean that you SHOULD. It’s bad enough cops often escape accountability through other means, but this is too much!
Other cities have done the same, destroying years of police shooting records and important files about how officers harmed people’s lives.
In a moment’s notice, everything can be flushed down the drain like it never mattered.
Countless people’s lives have been affected by police violence, and the decision of cities to cover up and destroy important evidence against cops shows that our fight is much bigger than some may imagine.
This is about an entire system, not just a “few bad apples.”