Gratified at Dages Charges

Re: We are gratified that Matt Dages will stand trial

We are gratified that El Cajon Superior Court Judge Patricia Cookson has decided that the very significant mismatches between Mr Dages’ statements about the arrest of Mr Amaurie Johnson and citizen video of that same arrest warrant a trial.

We hope in the near future that Matt Dages stands trial for his treatment of Mr Johnson, which citizen and bodyworn camera video shows was aggressive and abusive, certainly amounting to police misconduct.  That said, lying on a police report is no small matter.

To do their jobs most safely and effectively, the police must be trusted by the community.  Nobody who lies deserves trust.  An officer who files a false report regarding an individual citizen therefore harms not only the subject of the report, but betrays his fellow officers by making their jobs more difficult and dangerous.

Just a few days after Dages’ arrest of Mr Johnson, we saw that when a community loses trust in the police, things can go out of control.  We would be happy to work with the City of La Mesa and its recently-named Police Chief to assist them in restoring that trust.  We believe training, discussion and self-knowledge can play a part in restoring that trust.

At base, however, there cannot be trust without justice, and it is time for the community to see that justice is done.  We call on the citizens of our region to heed the call for jury duty.  We call especially on our Black and other citizens of color to make the sacrifice to serve on juries.  We know what all too often happens when all-white juries make decisions about the treatment of Black people by White people, especially White police officers.  We must not allow prejudice to rule our justice system any more.

Francine Maxwell, President
NAACP San Diego Branch


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PO Box 152086
San Diego CA 92195

(619) 431-1633 Phone/Text

Celebrating 102 years of civil rights advocacy in San Diego

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