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Ukiah City Manager on Ukiah Police’s Use of Force: ‘The City of Ukiah is Taking This Very Seriously’

The following press release was issued by the City of Ukiah attributed to City Manager Sage Sangiacomo:

Ukiah City Hall [Picture from the City of Ukiah’s Facebook page]

On April 1, Ukiah Police responded to a call reporting that an individual was exhibiting erratic behavior in a public setting. During the incident, a number of methods to subdue and restrain the individual were employed, prompting an investigation regarding the incident’s escalation and whether Ukiah Police principles and protocols were followed.

City Manager Sage Sangiacomo states, “We understand the community concern that has been expressed over the use-of-force by the police during the incident last week, and the City of Ukiah is taking this very seriously. We are launching a full and independent investigation into the incident to determine what happened and whether police actions were consistent with department training and policies. The City also intends to seek an independent review of the existing policies to determine whether they could be augmented or otherwise improved. We believe in the importance of oversight and accountability for our police department. Not only do they need the right policies, training, and tools, but they also need accountability if there are problems that arise. That is essential for keeping community trust in the officers who are on the front lines and responsible for keeping us safe.

“At the same time, we are receiving questions about the nature of police response when addiction or mental health issues are involved. We share the community’s concern that there are not more robust options for addressing these challenges. We are hopeful that the funding resulting from County Measure B can be used to help provide those resources. We look forward to collaborating with other stakeholders and concerned county residents to address this important issue.”

“The City has been and will continue to push for better solutions in addressing the needs for mental illness. But today, in this moment, the City is moving forward with next steps to ensure an independent investigation of the April 1st incident is completed in a timely manner. We are committed to transparency, and will provide more information when it is available.”

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2 replies »

  1. There are no “mental issues”, depressed and using anti-depressants describes half the population, using dramatic language to imply police brutally beat a helpless mentally ill man is misleading for the sake of reactions. Let a large naked man walk into your yard with your kids playing, high on LSD, out of his head, yelling and being aggressive, then tell me you and/or any other male neighbors wouldn’t jump him, pin him, and using *any* force necessary to keep him down. If you claim you wouldn’t, you’re either a liar or somebody who would stand by and let innocent people, including children, be at risk of harm…or death…when a drug-induced-derangement aggressive man walks into your family’s space.
    It is what it is, no narrative presented to paint it otherwise changes reality. Nothing new of course, we’ve grown use to certain groups trying their best to defend the criminals, either violent or potentially violent, while judging and condemning those who protect all of us from these types.
    Also, there is no “community concern”; there’s a very small number of people *among* the community who want to bang and yell and make noise and turn it into something it’s not. Yeah, they make a lot of noise. No, that doesn’t mean they’re the majority of people. Or anywhere near the majority.
    Also, even if there were mental illness….so? “Yeah this guy broke into our house and raped my wife and shot two of my kids and kidnapped my teenage daughter and locked her in his basement. But…he’s mentally ill, so yeah you know, we didn’t call the police, because it would be wrong to allow the police to be physically aggressive to have stopped him. Yeah so we called social workers instead, and I mean, yeah he ended up killing the social workers too. But, again, I want to stress that the more important thing to consider is: The poor guys is MENTALLY ILL! Where’s your compassion?!? It’s not about my wife. Or my kids. Or the dead social workers. Forget about them. This is about the poor mentally ill guy…c’mon people!”
    Cannot even begin to understand people’s ideas that someone being mentally ill should mean we handle them with kid’s gloves regardless of how much of a threat they may be presenting, or how much physical harm…or death…they’re in the middle of committing. But I do know one thing: Let it happen to their own selves or their own family, and I guarantee they’d sing a different tune.

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