Monday January 13 Special IOLERO meeting on the killing of Petaluma Resident David Ward, 6 pm

Notice of this important meeting regarding the November 27, 2019 killing of Petaluma resident David Ward by

Petaluma resident David Ward. Image courtesy of Catherine Aguilera.

Sonoma County sheriff’s deputies just arrived from Santa Rosa activist and community organizer Susan Lamont, former director of the Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County. Susan’s message is below, followed by the public notice from the county. – RR

There will be a special meeting of IOLERO tomorrow (Monday) in order for the director to dictate to us her slant on the killing of David Ward (there is no real “Public Comment” scheduled). When Director Navarro attempted to gut the Community Advisory Council (that effort is still underway), she eliminated most of its meetings and said if there were a critical incident, then she’d hold a special meeting. No sooner did she say it than she had her critical incident.

She is steering the meeting to being about two things: the carotid artery hold and community healing.

First off, community healing is bullshit if law enforcement policies have not changed and the Sheriff’s Office is still working to see that this community they supposedly care so much about has no power. Community healing is almost always a smoke screen to hide what is not being done to solve a problem.

Second, the carotid artery hold has been studied nationally and we don’t need to sit around while Navarro studies it locally. This is a delaying tactic. And, even more important, there are so many more factors to this case and she has taken all of them off the table. Navarro works hand-in-hand with the Sheriff and there isn’t a move she makes that does not reflect this. (Cooperation with the sheriff to solve problems is not necessarily a bad thing, but when it’s the basis of everything you do, well…..) The treatment of Ward from the very beginning of the stop, the complicity of the other officers, the usual contradictory orders coming from different officers and the fact that Deputy Blount (despite a violent and lying history) was still employed will not, apparently, be discussed.

We’d love to see you at this meeting (on Old Redwood Highway just east of Hwy. 101 at the exit for Penngrove). There will be signs to hold stating that we want a more effective IOLERO.

And you can support that by signing a petition for the Evelyn Cheatham Effective IOLERO Ordinance – FTTP#1422712 (we will have signature gatherers there). You can help even more by agreeing to collect signatures, donating money and/or organizing a fundraiser/house party!

This ordinance is based upon best practices created through years of study by the National Association of Community Oversight of Law Enforcement, as well as The President’s Commission on Twenty-first Century Policing. Its intent is to make both the civilian community and law enforcement community safer. Much of the resistance that comes from law enforcement is based upon the tradition of “law enforcement knows best and you can’t possibly know what’s good for you.” It’s time to create some new traditions!


From the County of Sonoma:


Published:  January 10, 2020

Dear Community Partners,

In an effort to keep the community informed about the David Ward investigation and to provide a community forum and resources, the Independent Office of Law Enforcement Review and Outreach (IOLERO) is holding a Town Hall Meeting.

January 13, 2020, 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Sonoma Human Services, South County Center
Bantam Training Room
5350 Old Redwood Highway North
Petaluma, CA

The Agenda:

  1. Update from the IOLERO director: The update is that IOLERO has not yet received the David Ward investigation from the Sheriff’s Office. However, IOLERO will be accessing the Sonoma County Sheriff’s data regarding use of the carotid hold in Sonoma County. IOLERO is in the process of requesting information related to the carotid hold from other law enforcement agencies in California. The information received from the Sonoma County Sheriff and other California sheriff’s departments will be examined by IOLERO and the incoming Community Advisory Council (CAC). A report will be prepared on the findings.
  2. Presentation on community trauma and healing: Elece Hempel, Executive Director of Petaluma People Services Center and Jessica Progulske from the Sonoma County Office of Education will be presenting on community trauma and healing. Counseling and support resources will be offered for community members.
  3. Community members will be invited to complete a questionnaire related to the David Ward investigation. There will be an opportunity for community members to meet in small groups and present their answers. Questionnaire results will be forwarded to the Sheriff’s Office.

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