An Open Letter to the Cities of Clayton, Concord, Their Police Departments and the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office

I am writing to you today regarding the peaceful protest against police brutality that was held in downtown Clayton on June 2nd. As you may recall, once the 6pm curfew started, police from a variety of agencies sent smoke and tear gas into the crowds in order to disperse them.

I am a citizen and homeowner who has lived in Concord, CA for more than 15 years. Like most Americans, I have watched with deep concern and anger the growing unrest happening across the nation. What started with a call for justice for the wrongful death of George Floyd has evolved into a massive referendum against the brutality experienced by American citizens at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve us. These instances of unwarranted violence have been well documented for years, but little has been done to address the underlying issues that cause it systemically.

In recent days as I have continued to shelter in place during a worldwide pandemic, I have watched in horror as police agencies in Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles and other municipalities have responded to protests against police brutality with more police brutality, often in full view and awareness of the cameras. I have decried this and naively thanked God it was happening “over there” and not here.

That is, until I tuned into on June 2nd. You can view the video in question yourself here:

The videos captured by the KPIX news crew around the time the 6pm curfew started in Clayton clearly show peaceful protesters – most of them apparently high-school aged – in defiance of orders to disperse. Their defiance took the form of standing their ground and shouting at the officers – no actual physical violence of any kind can be detected here.

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