By Veronica Mackey
Family and supporters of Kisha Michaels and Marquintan Sandlin, slain by Inglewood police a year ago, showed up again at the Inglewood Council meeting to keep the shooting incident in the public’s eye.
A couple of residents called for an expedient end to the investigation, which has so far offered few answers about what actually happened to the couple in the early morning of February 21, 2016. A woman spoke on behalf of Black Lives Matter and wanted more accountability from the police department
A priest at Holy Faith Episcopal Church came to offer his support and prayers to the family and friends of Michaels and Sandlin. “I want to call on the city council to do everything in your power to make sure there is justice, and there is communication with the family, and that you work to reform the Citizen Police Oversight Commission to make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Willie Agee responded to a comment that the council is insensitive to the families of Michaels and Sandlin. “I don’t think there is a person in here who has not lost a loved one. These are race baiters that come in here. I don’t appreciate that,” he said.
This comment was met by shouts from the audience and calls for justice.
At the same time, the council and audience recognized Inglewood Police Captain David Saucedo with public remarks, a standing ovation and an appreciative round of applause. Captain Saucedo is leaving the department to serve as Chief of the Baldwin Park Police Department.
“I work for you,” Saucedo said. “I am working for the people…That’s how we’re going to progress.”
Councilman George Dotson thanked his assistant, Alicia Smith, for “putting on one of the best town hall meetings since I’ve been on the city council.” He added, “Those of you who missed the meeting, don’t miss the next one.” Dotson congratulated Saucedo on his promotion.
Councilman Alex Padilla added his well wishes for Saucedo: “To see a friend move on to Baldwin Park is very exciting, and I wish you nothing but the very best,” he said.
Councilman Ralph Franklin echoed Padilla’s remarks, then addressed those who came to support Michaels and Sandlin. “To that point, I too, am waiting for the result. The council is not allowed to interfere with the investigation. We want to make sure the police do their due diligence…We hope in the next 30 days—now 3 weeks—that this will be solved.”
“Both the police association and myself contributed to their services. I attended the services…We are not allowed to contact the families directly. They are represented by attorneys. With that said, we give our condolences to the families,” Mayor James Butts said.
The mayor told Captain Saucedo: “Two of the last police chiefs came from Inglewood, the Santa Monica police chief and (you). We’re really gonna miss you. We’re definitely not saying goodbye, we’re saying farewell because we’re going to see you again.”
The council approved a Memorandum of Understanding Agreement with the County of Los Angeles to release the Voter Information Management System files; payment of invoices for automation professional services; rejection of all bids submitted for the New Well No. 7 Construction Project and authorization to revise and rebid the project; and payment of an invoice for emergency flood mitigation response services.
Council members also voted to amend the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 budget in the amount of $190,572 to reimburse the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for ineligible personnel costs with General Funds. Housing, Section 8, And CDBG Department staff got the green light to use $10,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds for program incidentals related to essential services of the Homeless Tenant Based Rental Assistance program.
A public hearing was set for March 21, 2017 at 2:00pm to consider an appeal of the Planning Commission’s denial of Special Use Permit No. 2016-013 to allow a beauty salon within 300 feet of a similar use at 10800 S. Prairie Avenue.