Monday, October 14, 2013

Justice for Kayla Moore!

People's Investigation: Kayla Xavier Moore
2013-10-14 message from Annie Paradise at Berkeley Copwatch:
The People's Investigation into the death of Kayla Xavier Moore is preparing to release a report of its findings at a press conference on Wednesday, October 16th in Berkeley. Kayla died in custody of the Berkeley Police Department on February 13, 2013. Over the course of the last 8 months, the People's Investigation has interviewed witnesses and met with various groups; organized a birthday memorial celebration and rallies and speak outs to demand the release of the police investigation report and the coroner's report; hosted community gatherings to discuss concerns around police responding to mental health crisis calls; and has analyzed police actions, documents, and policies related to this incident. From this, Berkeley Copwatch prepared a report of the findings and list of recommendations. We are hoping that you will join us at the press conference for the release of this report this Wednesday at 4pm at the Veterans Memorial Building, 1947 Center Street in Berkeley.
For the press release, please see below. For a link to the full report, please see [].
"Copwatch to Release Findings of People’s Investigation, Demand that Police Review Commission to hold Special Hearing into the Death Of Kayla Moore"
Press Conference and Rally
WHERE: Veterans Memorial Building, 1947 Center Street, Berkeley, CA.
WHEN:  Wednesday October 16th , 2013 4pm
According to a detailed report just released by a People’s Investigation, the in-custody death of Xavier Christopher Moore never should have happened.  A coalition of groups and individuals will convene in front of the Police Review Commission offices on Wednesday October 16th at 4pm  to submit the necessary signatures to administratively compel the Police Review  Commission to hold a special hearing. Our goal is to present the report to the Commission and allow members of the public to express their concerns.
“I think the report is eye opening and extremely accurate in terms of what is going on with mental health services in Berkeley. The lack of those services means that police are the first responders to people in mental health crisis and they are not trained for these situations,” said Maria Moore, sister to Kayla Moore. “Our family is completely in the dark regarding what  the city intends to do about  this situation. We hope that the report and special hearing will act as a catalyst for the PRC and the City Council to take action.”
Although the PRC maintains that it began an investigation in March, no findings have been released or updates on their investigation made public. Berkeley  Copwatch convened a variety of individuals and sources to find out what actually happened to Xavier Moore, also known as Kayla, when police entered her home on February 13th 2013. The People’s Investigation directly interviews witnesses and reviews documents in order to make a honest appraisal of a particular event and provide findings to the community.
After a thorough examination of witness statements, police policies, mental health budgets, police reports, after interviewing Moore's neighbors and family members, the People’s Investigation has reason to believe that, in addition to poor judgment and insufficient training of individual officers, there is a lack of city services, funding and policies about how to humanely provide emergency mental health services to the people of Berkeley. The reports identifies these as factors that contributed to her death.
“The city of Berkeley has slashed the budget for mental health ‘Crisis and Assessment’ in half since 2011. People in crisis are treated like criminals instead of patients. The Berkeley Police Association repeated their calls for tasers in response to a recent episode involving a mentally ill man. Are tasers really going to be the way that Berkeley provides mental health care? It is time that our city comes to terms with the fact that people are dying because we don’t provide adequate mental health services,” said Andrea Prichett of Berkeley Copwatch.

2013-07-11 "Father of Berkeley Sgt Tied to Kyla Moore Case on Police Review Commission"
by Berkeley News []:
On the evening of July 10th, the Berkeley police review commission welcomed its newest member, John Cardoza. The new commissioner, appointed by city council member Gordon Wozniak is the father of a police sergeant with ties to the Kyla Moore case, and the April 30th city council meeting in which police entered chambers. What has Berkeley city government done?
* New Commissioner John Cardoza appointed by City Council Member Gordon Wozniak. []
* Cardoza, Berkeley Police, Kyla Moore []
Interview with Sgt Cardoza:
Berkeley Sgt Cardoza was present during the death of resident Kyla Moore, who was placed under arrest despite going through a mental health crisis. Now the father of Sgt. Cardoza sits on the Berkeley Police Review Commission, after being appointed by city council member Gordon Wozniak.
The sergeant was not at the scene during the initial arrest of Kyla Moore, according to given testimony. Cardoza arrived with the paramedics as CPR was being applied to Kyla Moore, who stopped breathing while being detained for police transport. The sergeant was also involved in a follow up incident in which Berkeley police entered city council chambers to briefly detain members of Kyla Moore's family and the general public who were requesting updates on the investigation into Moore's death. The police entered chambers and silenced speakers without an official warning by Mayor Tom Bates.
During their recent meeting, the Berkeley police review commission was presented with a complaint regarding the police's actions during the April city council allotment for public comment. Despite the fact Sgt Cardoza was involved in the incident, it was not mentioned during the meeting that there is a conflict of interest to have the the elder Cardoza on the commission. The complainant, and supporting members of the public issued their concerns with commissioner Cardoza present.
There are many unresolved threads from the death of Kyla Moore. Members of the public have asked for an affirmation of mental health rights, demanding a rethinking of policies involving police interactions with people who have mental health issues. However, the police review commission as well as the city council have repeatedly ignored calls for change.
Of all the people in Berkeley's district 8, it was not explained during the meeting why Sgt Cardoza's father was chosen. It can be assumed it is not a coincidence, and it was a politically orchestrated move, perhaps a decision heavily influenced by the police. Awkward at its least, insensitive at its most, the appointment of John Cardoza by Gordon Wozniak is controversial at its very essence. Wozniak is the most conservative member of Berkeley city council, and frequently votes against or abstains from voting on civil rights proposals.
Placing Sgt Cardoza's father on the Berkeley police review commission will further the current debate, and increase public scrutiny into Berkeley politics.

2013-04-18 "Officer Frankel Claims That NOBODY Killed Kayla Moore"
by "" []:
Officer Frankel insinuated today that medical reports would conclude Berkeley police were not responsible for the death of Kayla Moore, a transgendered person who died in police custody on February 12, 2013. Since her death, Berkeley police have released a single statement that was both brief and vague.
Nobody Killed Kayla Moore?

"April 17th: Celebrating Kalya (Xavier) Moore, killed by Berkeley Police"
message from Annie at "Berkeley Copwatch" []:
Greetings all, We are working with the family of Kayla (Xavier) Moore, killed by Berkeley police on February 13, 2013 to organize a joyous birthday celebration and memorial in front of the Gaia building where she was killed. We are also continuing to put pressure on the Berkeley Police. After a birthday celebration mc'd by members of Kayla's family and involving family, friends, and local concerned groups across the Bay Area, we will march to the Berkeley Police Station to deliver a oversized Public Records Act Request to the Berkeley Police Department. We are demanding that they release all information and reports related to Kayla's death to our ongoing People's Investigation.
 Below please find the press release, and attached a flyer for Kayla's birthday celebration and protest.
Please join us in celebrating and remembering Kayla!

2013-04-17 Event Remembering/ Celebrating the life of Kayla (Xavier) Moore on her birthday
Birthday Memorial Celebration
When: 5:00pm, Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Where: 2116 Allston Way (near Shattuck Ave.) in Berkeley
Press Conference and delivery of the Public Records Act Request to the police station.
Where: 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Berkeley
When: 6:15 PM
CONTACT "Berkeley Copwatch" & "Coalition for a Safe Berkeley"
Andrea Prichett (Berkeley Copwatch) [510-229-0527] []
Diana Bohn (Coalition for a Safe Berkeley) [510-525-5497] [510-926-5871] []  
On what would have been Kayla Moore’s 42nd birthday, we invite all justice (and fun) loving people to join us for a remembrance and get-to-know you event in celebration of her life. You see, we are also forging a movement to demand justice for Kayla Moore. Since the night of February 12, 2013 when police claimed to be responding to a call about a “disturbance” on the 5th Floor of the Gaia Building in downtown Berkeley, the BPD has provided almost no information about what happened that night. According to the Coroner’s office, the BPD has asked that a “hold” be placed on the release of the autopsy report. They say it could take 6-8 months to release.
Quote by Elysse Paige- Moore, stepmother: “Xavier had a very difficult life, but an indomitable spirit. He suffered with mental illness from an early age, struggling throughout his life with paranoid schizophrenia and posttraumatic stress syndrome. He also had a near genius I.Q. and a photographic memory. He was a poet and a gifted singer and oh could he dance, even at 350 lbs! He was generous, and often took in homeless friends giving them shelter and cooking 3 course gourmet meals for them. Despite his challenges, he was resilient and resourceful. His spirit was unbreakable and served as an example to everyone he touched.”
Demands of the Berkeley Police Department:
* Release the police reports on the incident that took place on February 12-13th, 2013.
* Release the Coroner’s Report.
* Publish the investigation results.
As details of the tragic death of 41 year old Berkeley resident Xavier Christopher Moore in police custody begin to emerge, residents are asking why this person died and why police are slow to release information in this case.
According to Berkeley Police, officers were dispatched for a mental health evaluation at about 11:50 pm on February 12, 2013, although neighbors on the same floor heard no disturbance until the police arrived.
After officers appeared at Moore's residence the situation escalated, and shortly thereafter Moore died in police custody. Neighbors observed officers carrying Moore on a gurney, unconscious and in restraints, out of the building. In a city that is known internationally for disability awareness, social consciousness and protection of civil liberties, it is unacceptable that a mental health evaluation should end in death. The District Attorney says that since this is not an officer involved shooting, they are not even investigating the case. We find all of this unacceptable.
We are calling on the Berkeley Police Department to release the police reports and the Coroner’s Report, and to publish the investigation results on the incident that took place on February 12-13th, 2013. If misconduct has occurred, officers must be disciplined. If it was a failure of policy and administration, the public must be allowed to analyze the case and to assist in addressing this breakdown in city services. In any case, we demand that the Berkeley Police Department comply with Public Records Act requests and that they make information about that night’s events available to the public as quickly as possible.

2013-03-14 "Answers! Not Undercovers! Berkeley Police and the Kayla Moore coverup"
by Jacob Crawford []:
On February 12th, 2013 Officers from the Berkeley Police Department killed a transperson named Kayla Moore. In the days to follow, BPD would remain silent on how somebody could just die in their custody.
As the weeks passed, Berkeley Copwatch was able to get some information from the coroner, and on February 28th they held a press conference to call for an investigation into Kayla's suspicious death.
 Berkeley Police would still not come forward with any information.
 On March 12, one month after the killing, a autonomous protest would be held in Berkeley by concerned people from around the bay.
 Instead of bringing answers, Berkeley Police brought undercover units, who would fan out into the march attempting to identify "leaders" of a leaderless march. The march started in People's Park, would go to the police station, and end back by the park without incident.
 If Berkeley Police put as much time, money, and energy into the investigation of Kayla Moore's death, as they did on this particular march, the "investigation" would have been done weeks ago.

2013-03-13 "March for Kayla Moore, Berkeley, California"
by Tom Vee [], posted at []:
On February 12th, Berkeley Police murdered Kayla Moore. Kayla Moore lived with "mental illness" and has been described by friends and family as a Transgender person who "passed as a woman." Exactly one month later on March 12th, while police and corporate media are largely silent about the death, a nighttime march was held to call attention to the lack of accountability for the in-custody murder in Berkeley.

2013-03-12 "March Against Berkeley Police Murder of Kayla Moore (formerly named Xavier)"
Tuesday, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
People's Park, Berkeley, CA
Called for by "Anonymous Queers in Action"
On February 12th Berkeley Police murdered Xavier Moore. Xavier Moore lived with “mental illness” and has been described by friends and family as a Transgender person who “passed as a woman.”
 From Berkeley Copwatch:
 “The BPD’s press release of February 13th says that they responded to “a disturbance call” at Moore’s apartment. Media reports have said this call was related to mental health. If she was going through a mental health crisis, was anyone present trained to respond to that kind of situation, to evaluate, and deescalate? According to an article from February 26th in the Oakland Tribune: “Berkeley: Man who died after struggle with police was severely mentally ill,” rather than take her to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation, when they found out she had an outstanding warrant in San Francisco, they told her they were going to arrest her.
An article in the San Francisco Chronicle dated February 13th “Man dies in struggle with Berkeley police,” mentions “a disturbance between roommates,” as causing the police to arrive. The Daily Californian February 14th article “Man dies after being taken into police custody,” says that other residents heard a “commotion on the fifth floor of the building before the officers arrived on the scene.” None of the witnesses we spoke to heard any sort of commotion or disturbance until after the police arrived. Why the consistent difference? In fact, the police were at Moore’s apartment twice that night. This isn’t mentioned at all by the police or media reports. The police first showed up around 11:00pm, and left without incident. The incident resulting in Moore’s death was the second police visit, occurring around 11:50pm. According to witnesses, when they returned a second time, there was a sizable police presence. Why did they come back an hour later with so many officers? What were they preparing to do?”
Nearly one month later and the Berkeley Police still have not released information as to the cause of Xavier's death, leaving most questions unanswered. However we do know that there was no commotion or overt disturbance prior to BPD's arrival. We know when Berkeley Police arrived at Xavier's home, for the second time in one night, they had police back-up but they did not have a mental health mobile crisis team with them. We know Xavier was alive and not on the verge of death prior to the arrival of the Berkeley Police. We know police regularly murder people of color, gender-variant people, and people with “mental illness.” We also know only one Police Officer in California has been convicted in the death of a civilian and his charges were brought only after massive riots swept Oakland.
Unfortunately Xavier's death is not an anomaly. This past weekend Bay Area Police have murdered four people and watched one woman bleed to death after she was attacked by her abusive ex-husband.
San Francisco Police murdered Aaron Sawyer (23) after he allegedly stole a car on Saturday morning. San Jose Police murdered a man yet to be identified after they deemed him to be “suspicious.” Union City Police shot an unidentified man to death after they pulled him over for an unstated reason. Hayward Police murdered an unidentified man after his car crashed into one of their police cruisers. In the case of Xavier Moore, whether by neglect or intent the result is the same. Xavier Moore is dead. The Berkeley Police killed Xavier Moore.
This is a call for an uncompromisingly militant march against the racist and transphobic Berkeley Police who murdered Xavier Moore. The march will begin at People's Park on Tuesday March 12th at 6:30pm. It is also a call for queer people, trans people, women, and people of color to form a bloc against police murders and harassment at the March Against Capitalism and Police Repression taking place at Oscar Grant Plaza in Oakland on Friday, March 15th at 8pm

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