CopWatch will be hosting a protest/vigil for Dante Parker this Wednesday, August 20 at 6:PM outside the Victorville substation of the San Bernardino County Sheriff. Fortunately, we are not alone in addressing this egregious crime. Earl Ofari Hutchinson's group, the Los Angeles Urban Policy Round Table has also made a forceful statement about what they would like to see happen in the case. Here is an article about it:
Independent probe sought in death of High Desert man while in custody
By Greg Cappis, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
POSTED: 08/17/14, 10:46 PM PDT | UPDATED: 22 SECS AGO 0 COMMENTS
A coalition of Southern California civil-rights leaders will ask San Bernardino County District Attorney Mike Ramos to take over the investigation into the death of a High Desert man who died while in custody of the Sheriff’s Department last week.
The 12 people who endorsed the request questioned the objectivity of sheriff’s detectives investigating sheriff’s deputies.
“It’s not going to be fair. It’s not going to be impartial,” coalition spokesman Earl Ofari Hutchinson said in a phone interview on Sunday.
The group is attempting to meet with the District Attorney’s Office this week to ask for a quick and transparent investigation into the case of Dante Parker, who died at a hospital after being Tasered multiple times during a scuffle with deputies, Hutchinson said.
The Sheriff’s Department declined a request for an interview Sunday, releasing only the following, via email.
“The Sheriffs Dept conducts all investigations without bias and submits their findings to the District Attorney for review,” said Cindy Bachman, a sheriff’s spokeswoman.
The District Attorney’s Office did not respond to requests for comment on Sunday.
Parker died at the age of 36 after a confrontation with deputies from the Victorville station on Tuesday.
Someone reported a man was attempting to break into a residence about 4:47 p.m. in the 13000 block of Bucknell Court, a middle-class neighborhood.
When a deputy arrived, a resident identified Parker as the subject, who the deputy then saw riding a bicycle, according to a statement from the Sheriff’s Department released a day after Parker’s death.
The deputy chased Parker as he turned left onto Stanford Drive and then made another left on Luna Road, residents said Friday.
Parker and the female deputy got into some type of physical altercation near the sidewalk on Luna — about a mile from Parker’s home.
During the struggle, the deputy Tasered Parker multiple times, according to the sheriff’s release, and fought with Parker while waiting for backup. More deputies arrived and struggled with Parker for several minutes before handcuffing him and placing him in the back seat of a squad car.
Not much is known about what happened after Parker was placed in the deputy’s vehicle.
The sheriff’s statement said Parker began sweating profusely and was laboring to breathe. He was taken to a Victorville Global Medical Center, where he was conscious but incoherent and died while receiving treatment, the department said.
The exact time of his death has not been released.
Riverside County Coroner’s Office officials will perform an autopsy on Parker, per policy, since the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and Coroner’s Office are overseen by the same man, Sheriff John McMahon.
The coalition of civil rights leaders would like to see a similar separation of powers in the Parker death investigation.
“Anytime you have a use of force or deadly force by sheriff’s or police ... as happened in Victorville, almost always there’s going to be an investigation and almost always it’s the police investigating themselves,” Hutchinson said. “And almost always there’s going to be an exoneration.”
The coalition will make four requests to the DA:
• They ask that the investigation be quick, not dragged out for months or more than a year.
• In regards to transparency, they ask information be shared with them as it becomes available — they reached a similar agreement with the California Highway Patrol in the investigation of a patrolman who was videotaped punching a woman on the side of a freeway.
• All possible witnesses must be contacted and questioned, the group asks.
• The coalition does not want to see deliberate leaks of information that unnecessarily harms Parker’s character and damages the investigation.