10/17 Court Support Update: The Fight Continues in – and Out – of the Courtroom

A circle of community members stands in front of a court building. Rev. Daniel Buford, a Black man wearing a suit, speaks to the crowd.Thank you to everyone who was present for court support today, in person and in spirit.

The update is that Judge Breyer has made a preliminary decision on the City’s motion to dismiss. He is planning to dismiss the family’s claims of excessive force and wrongful arrest, but WILL proceed with hearing the case, focusing on the piece of the lawsuit relating to how BPD officers violated the ADA (American’s with Disabilities Act) by failing to accommodate  Kayla’s mental health disability, schizophrenia.

The lawyers have been given more time to prep their arguments and NOVEMBER 18TH is the tentative date when we will return to court.

We had a very brief moment in the actual courtroom on Monday 10/17, since the judge had already made his mind up to dismiss so much of the case. The injustice of the “justice” system is maddening, yet not surprising.

Still, the remaining ADA claim is a crucial element. So, we’ll be back in court! It is crystal clear to us that the officers failed to respect, value and accommodate Kayla’s full identity – *including* her disability.

And, the fight for Justice for Kayla and all Black, trans, disabled people most certainly also continues outside of court. As 50 or so of us gathered outside of the court, we readied for that continuing struggle. We need to continue to fight for community-run mental health resources in Berkeley and beyond and for liberation for all Black trans women in life as well as as death (as Janetta Johnson urged us).

Big thanks to Janetta Johnson (TGI Justice Project), Akira Jackson (of TAJA’s Coalition), Gilda Baker (Mother of Diallo Neal), Rev. Daniel Buford (Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute), Antoinette Gaggero (Open Circle – Families United for Justice), La Mesha Irizarry (mother of Idriss Stelley) and Al Osorio for speaking on all of these important issues and more today.

Stay tuned here, on Facebook, and via our email list for details about upcoming events and the next court date.


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