Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie Must Go

July 6, 2020

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go because he emailed an altered photograph of the 8-minute-46-second killing of Mr George Floyd by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin, showing a naked black male porn star kneeling on Mr Floyd, with the words “Quit resisting…” added.  The image was lewd and racist and vile and should disturb anyone with a shred of human decency.  It is simply unacceptable in a law enforcement officer.

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go unless the front page of the Sheriff’s website, which says “We hear you. We stand with you. We do not condone actions based on bias, prejudice, racism or hate” is a lie.

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go because this is far from the first time he has shown himself to be an overtly racist and deplorable human being, much less a law enforcement officer.  

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go because he violently killed Jorge Ramirez in 2005.  We invite you to read the Attorney General’s memorandum (see sandiegonaacp.org/ritchie-must-go) which describes him overtaking an injured, fleeing man, shooting him in the back of the chest to bring him to the ground, and then firing bullet after bullet into him, while circling around him.

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go because he violently killed Robert Medina in 2006.  We invite you to read documentation of this gratuitously violent pursuit and gangland-style execution of the clearly unarmed Medina (see https://www.leagle.com/decision/infdco20140926a78) which describes him engaging in a risky vehicular pursuit, pinning Medina’s vehicle between law enforcement vehicles, and again engaging in his favored pastime of circling around immobilized human beings while repeatedly firing his gun and sending bullet after bullet into their helpless bodies.

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go because this incident shows he has clearly not changed his evil, racist and hate-filled ways, and he is a danger to all residents of the County.  He must go before he kills again.

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go because he belongs in jail, not on the streets.  We understand that before the advent of AB-392, it may have been difficult to prosecute obvious murder by the police.  The record, however, is plain, and this incident is enough all on its own to see him gone from the Department.

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go in spite of the “Police Officer’s Bill of Rights,” because the real Bill of Rights, the one in the actual Constitution, must take precedence.

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go, and yet he gets a paycheck from Sheriff Gore, despite the Sheriff’s Office statement that “We were so disgusted that an employee may have shared such a vulgar [and racist] image that we took immediate action.”

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go, because the murder of Mr George Floyd has awoken some of his fellow deputies, who will no longer stay silent regarding his words and actions.

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go, if Sheriff William Gore is to show significant leadership on the issues of race and policing.  Perhaps he has so far failed to show such leadership because, despite having 9 contracts across the breadth of the county, his leadership team fails to bring diversity to the decision making process.   Sheriff Gore must act on this rogue deputy, and he must bring diverse voices to his table to end his echo-chamber of bias building on bias.  If he fails to do these things, we will know that he is complicit in systemic racism and that is time for different and bolder leadership in the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Ritchie must go, and if the Sheriff shows enough good faith to make that happen, the NAACP San Diego Branch stands ready to assist him evaluate and improve his recruitment, training, and discipline policies to ensure that the Mark Ritchies of the world are behind bars, not behind  Deputy’s badges.

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch