DOWNTOWN SACRAMENTO — The local members of Black Lives Matter (BLM) have demanded that the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department release more details about the deputy-involved shooting that resulted in the death of a 36-year-old African American in October.
Several members of BLM’s chapter stood in front the Sheriff’s office at 711 G Street in downtown Sacramento and said publicly that Sheriff Scott Jones should turn over more information to the family about the fate of Adriene Ludd in Carmichael.
BLM Chapter Leader Tanya Faison said Sheriff Scott Jones told the media in October that Ludd got out of his vehicle “shooting at the police” and the deputies were “forced to kill him.”
Ms. Faison also said that the following day the Sheriff’s Department’s account of the confrontation between Ludd and deputies changed, which is why BLM is asking for more specifics.
Ms. Faison said the next day the Sheriff’s Department said that no bullets came from the gun that they claimed Ludd was using.
“This change of story shows the inconsistency in the first recollection of events told by the sheriff and the witnesses he spoke with at the scene of the shooting,” she added.
Sgt. Tony Turnbull, spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Department told The OBSERVER that the shooting took place after deputies attempted to pull Ludd over for expired registration near Cypress and Garfield avenues in Carmichael.
What began as a routine traffic stop suddenly turned into an evasion, reports say. Investigators said Ludd eventually emerged from the vehicle with a Tec-22, semi-automatic weapon, the firearm that allegedly malfunctioned.
Sgt. Turnbull also said that Ludd had “a fully loaded” .25 caliber handgun gun in his pocket. In regard to department policies, the investigation is still ongoing based on the number of witnesses present at the scene. Dashcam and surveillance devices must be inspected as well during the investigation, Sgt. Turnbull said.
“It isn’t totally done yet,” Sgt. Turnbull said of the investigation. “It is a process that involves the department, the District Attorney’s Office, and Internal Affairs. Sometimes these investigations are long-term. This a long investigation. I cannot say when it will be completed,” Sgt. Turnbull added.
Once the Sheriff’s Department is finishes with its investigation, the case is turned over to the District Attorney’s Office for review, Sgt. Turnbull said. When the review is completed by the D.A’s office, the case is then submitted to the Inspector General.
The Sacramento County Board of Supervisors just recently appointed former Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel as Inspector General for the Sheriff’s Department.
The Inspector General, a contracted position, is not an employee or under the command of the Sheriff’s Department. Braziel has broad oversight authority, including the evaluation of the overall quality of law enforcement.
As Inspector General, Braziel also has the power to invigorate systematic changes and the ability to handle investigation of citizens complaints. The Inspector General is basically a liaison between the public and the Sheriff’s Department who makes sure objectivity and fairness during investigations are practical in nature.
“We need the new Inspector General Rick Braziel to conduct a complete and honest investigation,” Ms. Faison said.
Ludd’s mother, Naomi LaTrisha Ludd-Randle, was at the gathering in front of the Sheriff’s Department, though said little to the press at the request of BLM leaders. Ms. Faison said Ms. Ludd-Randle has not received an autopsy report from the coroner’s office. Sgt. Turnbull told The OBSERVER that the Sheriff’s Department has not either.
The autopsy report is not complete, Sgt. Turnbull added.
Donielle Prince, also a BLM leader, told The OBSERVER that Ludd’s family is demanding to see evidence, a report, and dashcam videos pertaining to the case. Sgt. Turnbull said those concerns will be addressed once a full investigation is finalized.
It is a common practice with all law enforcement agencies across the country to conduct thorough officer-involved shooting investigations, though BLM of Sacramento currently thinks otherwise.
“Thus far, Sheriff Jones and his department have not demonstrated that transparency is their goal,” Ms. Prince said. “With this in mind, we at Black Lives Matter-Sacramento will continue to push for the transparency and accountability that the Sacramento community deserves,” she added.
By Antonio R. Harvey
OBSERVER Staff Writer