SACRAMENTO — Gearing up for an evening committee meeting for Sacramento’s Black Lives Matter chapter, leader Tanya Faison says she’s used to seeing city officers appear near wherever her group chooses to discuss business — this time on J Street.
She’s used to being in front of cameras and on the opposite ideological side of the fence from officers she says she’s trying to hold to a high standard, but what she’s not used to is something new happening to her through Facebook.
“I’ve had to clean out the list of followers and block people because of this and a lot of them don’t air their names. They’re just very supportive of law enforcement and they’re just adding me, basically as some kind tactic, of intimidation or something,” she said.
She says people bent on harassment are being led to her personal and BLM pages through a Facebook page for a group calling itself SPD Underground.
Much about it looks and sounds like actual Sacramento officers must be behind it, but spokesmen for the department, the police union and the city all say that with an anonymous administrator there is no way to tell.
None would go on camera to discuss the page or its content.
Faison says she wrote a poem about gentrification in her childhood neighborhood of Oak Park on her personal page.
SPD Underground linked to it, calling her a racist for wanting to keep Oak Park black and calling her a proven liar.
She feels that’s put her at risk.
Faison also believes the comments on the page are hurting the bonds the community is trying to build with law enforcement.
In one the poster responds to a critique of a current neighborhood activist by referring to him as “unemployed buttwipe, living on grants,” and recalling similar “turds he dealt with in his days…” hinting at having walked the beat.
And she says things have been posted with references to closed-door meetings she’s been in with just a few officers and representatives of the assistant city manager, so the association for her is clear.
For example, there’s this line about her being one of the people to review “our use of force policy and the local media still actually interviews her for stories…sad.”
“The fact that these folks on this page knew about it means that they either are in connection with his office or they are in his office,” she said.
The “his office” she’s referring to is that of the assistant city manager.
Faison has emailed with him asking that the SPD Underground page be taken down and organizers cited under the social media code of conduct for city employees.
Arturo Sanchez has told her and FOX40, “the SPD Underground site is in no way associated with the City of Sacramento and the City Manager’s Office. Any claim that it is is a false one…” and that “with anonymous posts, there is no way the policy can be enforced.”