A program to be named after Frederick Leon Marcus, the first Black deputy sheriff in Marin County, is being protested by members of the Marin City community.
According to the Marin Independent Journal, the proposed program that would provide a “youth-led neighborhood safety team with a focus on first aid, financial literacy, public speaking, civic engagement and social activism” is the subject of a petition to end it before it launches.
This petition, led by Black residents of Marin City who call themselves “VanGuardians of Marin,” is to show the Sausalito City Council that Marin City does not want or need police.
The petition, “No Police in Marin City” was posted on Change.org, and as of July 15, 2020, had 124 signatures. It states in part:
“The Sausalito City Council is considering funding the Frederick Leon Marcus Youth Cadet Program that would work with the Marin City School District. They say they are doing this as a part of their resolution to ‘declare our commitment to Black Lives Matter and standing against racial injustice.’
Any police-affiliated program is a pipeline into police culture, the petition says. “This is the exact opposite of what the Black Lives Matter movement is asking for, which is defunding the police.
“The Sausalito Police and the Marin County Sheriff have a history of promoting racial inequalities. They have not been protecting the Marin City—Sausalito youth.
“All of the funding should be redirected into the community’s education, empowerment, and health and safety.”
“Now that everyone is talking about defunding police, we thought we should create a neighborhood safety team,” said Jahmeer Reynolds, community school manager for the Sausalito Marin School District and coordination director for the Marin City Cooperation Team.
“There are concerns about its connection with law enforcement, which is more than the Sheriff’s Dept. and includes the Dept. of Probation and Fire Dept. I wanted to use those organizations to conduct the First Aid training,” he said. “That’s it. Because they are professionals in that area.”
On the other hand, Oshalla Diana Marcus, director of Marin City Arts and Culture, is attempting to have the petition removed. “It created a frenzy based on information that is not even true, in that way it’s dangerous,” she said.