SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A summer-long feud between Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones and the leader of the Sacramento Black Lives Matter Movement is escalating.
After an exchange of angry letters and accusations, the troubling private war between them took a public turn on Thursday.
Jones says the group’s right to peaceful protest crossed the line when they showed up at his house to protest, but that didn’t stop the group from rallying outside his office.
Black Lives Matter followers gathered at Seventh and I streets as the group and its spokeswoman, Tanya Faison, turn up the heat on the sheriff’s department. They’re frustrated by what they say is his failure to provide answers about the in-custody deaths of two black people and the alleged mistreatment of a third.
Michael McIntyre and Ryan Ellis both died in custody, while Patricia Hill was allegedly mistreated. Now the group is demanding video footage and public records from the cases.
“We’re asking for information about a man who was arrested, detained and then he got to the hospital five hours later, dead,” Faison said. “We are asking for information about a man who was suffering a mental-health crisis and was shot in the back five times, and then a woman who was taken to the jail and abused and her eye socket was broken.”
As if to upstage the peaceful protest, the sheriff issued a blunt, four-paragraph statement, harshly critical of Faison, saying she “does not want better police, but no police.”
Jones’ statement details what he calls inappropriate attacks including profanity-laced protests outside his home, and he says, “Disturbing my neighbors and causing fear in my wife and children.”
He added “She has posted my home address online” and “entertained online comments about assaulting and killing police officers.”
Faison didn’t deny any of the sheriff’s accusations.
“We are fighting for our freedom, and we are fighting for answers, and we are creative in our fight, and we will continue to be creative,” she said.
CBS13 offered Jones the chance to comment on camera, but he declined saying he doesn’t want the now-public feud to escalate more.
Jones says under Faison’s leadership, Black Lives Matters’ message will be marginalized, and constructive discourse will be weakened.
Faison says the sheriff doesn’t get to tell black people who their leaders are.