More than a year after San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced the creation of a truth, justice and reconciliation commission amid 2020’s nationwide protests stemming from the police murder of George Floyd, an Oakland nonprofit is putting the panel together.
Though final plans won’t be finalized for several weeks, “people are focusing on sharing the truths about systemic disinvestment and the Black disappearance we’ve seen in San Francisco since 1970,” according to attorney Fania Davis, who is involved with the project and is the sister of out professor and activist Angela Davis.
As the Bay Area Reporter reported July 1, 2020, Boudin joined the top prosecutors in Philadelphia and Boston, along with two civil rights advocates, to announce the formation of truth, justice, and reconciliation commissions, or TJRCs, in each of the cities — during the nationwide protests following the police murder of Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota — to review and officially acknowledge long-standing systemic racial inequities in the criminal justice system.
But one would be mistaken in thinking that just because Boudin announced the commission that means it’ll be run out of his office. Instead, the W. Haywood Burns Institute, a local nonprofit, will head up the efforts. Boudin’s office did facilitate $150,000 in private funding to be paid by one nonprofit to another for the commission, which his chief of staff, David Campos, a gay man, said is a “public-private initiative.”
The money came from the San Francisco-based Grassroots Law Project and went to the Burns institute. James Bell, an attorney who focused on representing incarcerated youth for over 20 years, founded it in 2001.
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