Reported and written by Fresno State journalists Sam LoProto, Damian Marquez, Angel Moreno, Jacob Rayburn, Brianna Vaccari, Liana Whitehead and their professor Mark Arax.
For the past six years, in an effort to cut costs, the Fresno County Jail has repeatedly denied mentally ill defendants the anti-psychotic medications prescribed to them by their outside doctors—medications needed to keep them sane.
As a result, according to Fresno County judges, former nurses, correctional officers, doctors, lawyers and the families of the defendants, the jail medical staff is triggering psychotic breakdowns in people suffering from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
The Fresno …[Read the details]
By Richard Stone
Rick Rasmussen, our Man in the O.I.R. (Office of Independent Review), has been on the job for about four months and has filed his first report. I met with him to discuss the impact of his work.
Rasmussen continues in a half-time capacity through June, when both he and the City of Fresno will review their options. His main task to date has been to review the findings of the Fresno Police Department’s Internal Affairs (IA) on every complaint filed against the police. He also reviewed a backlog of cases from before his hiring and checked …[Read the details]
Editor Mike Rhodes
I spent several fascinating days last month observing a trial at the Fresno County Courthouse. On trial were Angelo Fernandez and his two brothers (David and Robert). You may recall that Angelo was the guy a Fresno police officer shot in the back in 2011.Angelo was unarmed, this was done in the middle of the day and there were multiple witnesses. For details about that incident, see http://fresnoalliance.com/wordpress/?p=3181.
The District Attorney’s Office was trying to convict Angelo of an alleged carjacking, which Fresno Police Department (FPD) spokespersons used as a justification for …[Read the details]
By Mike Rhodes
Many progressive groups in the Fresno area are demanding police accountability. This press conference, organized by the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA), was held in front of the Fresno Police Department (FPD) headquarters during the Steven Vargas trial. Attorney Daniel Luna presented an amicus brief in support of Steven Willis, another person shot and killed by the FPD.
In early September 2011, the Community Alliance newspaper, through a California Public Records Act request, asked the Fresno Police Department (FPD) for its Policies and Procedures manuals. FPD Public Information Officer …[Read the details]
By Pam Whalen
On Oct. 29, local immigrant rights activists protested the use of the county jail to enforce federal immigration (ICE) policies, which may be unconstitutional. Among those attending the rally were farmworkers from Caruthers who have been subject to mass CHP car impoundments.
In what has become a regular event in the Caruthers area, every year at the peak of the harvest the California Highway Patrol cruisers start showing up in the early morning when farmworkers are arriving to pick grapes or other crops and the cruisers are back at quitting time. The …[Read the details]