Aryana Noroozi |
“I know he had a gun. Does it really matter if he’s dead?” Councilman Ben Reynoso asked. “What does justice look like for somebody who is dead?”
The San Bernardino City Council and Mayor convened for their bimonthly meeting last night, Wednesday July 20th. Discussion about obtaining justice for Robert Marquise Adams, 23, took precedence for a handful of council members who took the floor after the City Manager’s report was shared: a Critical Incident Debrief video from the San Bernardino Police Department featuring Police Chief Darren Goodman.
“Be assured this is not going to go away,” said Councilman Damon Alexander, the first speaker. “You’re going to have to give us some time, but trust me when I say we have a good department that’s going to demand transparency.”
Councilwoman Kimberly Calvin echoed promises for a transparent and thorough investigation. She gave her condolences to the family and applauded community members in attendance.
“Concerned city members keep the city accountable,” Councilwoman Calvin said. “Transparency is exactly what I ran on, that’s my commitment to you.” She reminded the community that the investigation is ongoing and they may not hear officials speak about it until it is complete.
“It’s very clear why I’m here, but it’s not clear what I’m supposed to do,” said Councilman Reynoso. “I don’t control the police department or any city department.”
“This city inspired me to run for office and sit here and translate things you’d never get the answers to,” said Councilman Reynoso. “That’s all I can do.”
When the council opened up the floor to public comment, San Bernardino community members took to the floor to share their thoughts on the incident. “The chamber of commerce wholy supports Chief of Police Goodman and encourages city council to do the same,” said Leslie Stevens from the San Bernardino Chamber of Commerce. “We are inspired by the transparency upon the final results of the investigation without forming any conclusions that may have a negative impact on all stakeholders in our community.”
Another community member, Mike Hartley, voiced concerns of all murder in the city. “We need more police, not less,” Hartley said. “And anytime the police do anything, they don’t need to be criticized.”
“I want us to stay focussed on the cops that rolled up like gang members with tinted windows,” said a community activist and business owner, Malibu, who later spoke. “I would have ran too.” She asked why there were no lights on the police car or an accompanying marked vehicle.
“I don’t think we need to start dragging the city council or the chief. I want us to stay focused on what happened, whether he had a gun or not.”