A Tale of Two Threats: Who Do the Police Let Live When Danger is Present?

Yesterday something strange and quite frightening took place in the San Francisco Bay Area. A distraught 51-year-old man named Craig Carlos-Valentino hoped in his SUV during the height of rush hour and drove from Antioch to the middle of the Bay Bridge which is one of most traveled spans in the country.  Accompanying him was his 16 year daughter.

Carlos-Valentino stopped his car mid-span and  called local news station KCBS where he announced that his car was wired with explosives and he had a gun. he then followed up his call to the police where he announced the same thing. Needless to say local authorities went nuts. They stopped traffic, alerted the bomb squad, the free way entrances were closed. People upon hearing this man had a bomb started turning around on the freeway and headed back toward Oakland. Local programming was interrupted  and everyone was on edge. We had a man on the Bay Bridge who was ready to blow things up.

Everyone was on edge because they remembered an angry man White supremacist named Byron Williams who back in July was stopped by police on the 580 freeway leading to the Bay Bridge. He was stopped by police for some sort of traffic violation and came out with guns blazing. Williams had on full body armor and had an arsenal fit for a small army. When all was said and done, Williams shot 3 officers and left the freeway strewn with bullets. Williams was on his way to San Francisco to kill liberal workers at the Tides Foundation.

Craig Carlos-Valentino

With respect to Carlos-Valentino and his bomb threat, everyone was on alert. There was a stand-off on the bridge during which this man tossed his gun, allowed his daughter to run off to the arms of police who were near by.  He threatened to commit suicide  and was talked off the ledge of the bridge, the whole time folks had no idea about his car. Did it or did it not have explosives?

Eventually Carlos-Valentino was taken into custody. We later learned this man was upset because his wife was cheating on him and was gearing up to leave him.

This man causes massive traffic jams and got all sorts of law enforcement involved to make sure he wasn’t a domestic terrorist. Later the police explained his ordeal and Mr Carlos-Valentino will live to see another day.

The key words here  ‘He got to live’. Police used caution. They explained away a man who potentially put thousands of people’s lives in danger as someone who was not real threat, but someone who was disturbed. In other words he was humanized.  We came away feeling sorry for this man. We don’t know if  Carlos-Valentino  was abusive, cheated or did anything wrong. He was just a trouble man who issued a bomb threat.

One has to wonder why such caution is not ever afforded to any number of people who have done far far less in terms of endangering the lives of others or themselves, yet wind up being killed by police.

We can look at Amadou Diallo reaching for his wallet.. Shot 41 times. The man had no criminal record and was un-armed.

We can look at the case of Sean Bell who shot 50 times drove away from a club where he held a bachelor party. Bell was unarmed, had committed no crime, but well-trained police thought he and his passengers had reached for a gun.

We can look at  the shooting death of 7 year old Ayana Stanley Jones in Detroit. Police busted into the wrong house looking for a suspect, beat her suprised  grandmother and shot Jones.

Last month Denroy Henry a star football player at Pace University was shot after being ordered to move his car from in front of club where a fight occurred. Henry who was not involved in the altercation, bumped a police officer with his car. End result was the cop unloading his gun into the car and killing an unarmed Henry.

This list can go on and on. One has to ask the hard questions, why can’t law enforcement show the same restraint they do so many others who arguably do far worse. Hell even Byron Williams is still alive and he shot down 3 cops. Why are these unarmed men and women always being killed by police?

Derrick Jones

This past Monday police were called to the Kwik Kuts barbershop in East Oakland owned by popular 37-year-old father Derrick Jones. Police say Jones was involved in a fight with a woman at the shop, not his wife and when they approached he ran away. Jones who was unarmed was shot 8 times by two officers, one of whom shot him twice while he lay on the ground.

Police said they thought the unarmed Jones was reaching for his waistband. Eye witnesses vehemently dispute the tale. Jones had his hands in the air and was shot by cops who many feel had a vendetta out for him.

According to neighborhood folks, Oakland cops never forgot or forgave the way Jones and his family stood up to police for their brutality and misconduct when he was 16 years old and was accused of stealing his own bike.  Disbelieving cops assaulted him and his 19-year-old sister . The family fought back and got two of the officers involved fired.

Over the years Jones was frequently stopped and harassed by police and so were many of his neighbors. As one shop owner who wished to remain anonymous explained, ‘Any excuse to smash on folks near the barbershop was used’.  Monday’s altercation was no different. This time the shooting death of yet another unarmed Black man in Oakland came on the heels of killer cop Johannes Mehserle receiving a super light 2 year sentenced for the murder of unarmed Oscar Grant.

We are posting up audio from the rally for Justice for Derrick Jones which took place in front of his barbershop yesterday. Folks need to check out what’s being said to get a full understanding of who he was, what his family did here in Oakland and how this relates to the injustice experienced by Oscar Grant’s family.

Here in pt1 Derrick Jones’ friend speaks about what happened after he got shot by Oakland police and the how witnesses are being intimidated by the police. Also Oscar Grant’s Uncle Bobby speaks and talks about what took place in the courtroom during sentencing. He reminds people what its gonna take to bring about justice and how the shooting of unarmed Derrick Jones and unarmed Oscar Grant are connected.

Minister Keith & Uncle Bobby

We finish off with some enlightening remarks from Yvette of BAMN who runs down what this case is about and why it appears to be some sort of vigilante killing. Jones was targeted by OPD


In pt 2 Minister Keith of the Nation of Islam gives a passionate speech about the legacy of ‘unarmed Black men’ being shot.  He also gives details as to how these shootings are supposed to be investigated. He calls out the DA Nancy Omally


Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

17 comments on “A Tale of Two Threats: Who Do the Police Let Live When Danger is Present?

  1. Pingback: Mr. Derrick Jones, barber | Rebuilding Oaktown

  2. The only way to change these conditions we will have to have a all out war and let the chips fall we will kill them all or they will kill us all but it will not stop until we fight to the death for our freedom.

  3. I remember when Clinton made the comment that “We take care of our own” when asked what business America had in sending its troops to Bosnia back in the early 1990s when black and brown people, to this day and all over the planet, face(d) genocide. It just goes to show how even on a global scale “the length of black life is treated with short worth” to quote Mos Def. Sad indeed…

  4. Robocop33 is the profile name of a policelink.com member that makes the following comments in reference to an article on the website entitled
    ‘White Ex-transit Officer’s Sentence Sparks Protest’
    It is a story about the people in Oakland who are protesting the ridiculous 2 year sentence Mehersle recieved for killing Oscar Grant.

    “These bastards, (sorry PL but that is what they are), would not be satisfied unless he was given the death penalty! This Officer should never have been charged, much less tried and convicted. It was a tragic accident that never would have happened if the POST that was shot had simply submitted to arrest, or better yet, had not been involved in the illegal activity in the first place. This has already destroyed the life of a fine young man who put his a$ on the line to help the very people that convicted him. FOR SHAME! I say declare Marshal Law and stop this immediately!”

    This is just one example of the hateful comments posted by members of policelink who are mostly police officers. It is tolerated. They are allowed by the moderators of this site to curse and spew hate about Oscar Grant and the people of oakland who are protesting this injustice.

    The comments range from saying it was Grant’s fault he got killed to
    the officer should have never been found guilty because Grant was a criminal. Some even blame Grant’s family for his death because they raised a criminal.

    Tell policelink what you think at

  5. F*ck you! Are you saying craig should have died? No one is saying derrick should have died. People like you make me sick. Craig is obviously a man who needs help. I hope you get judged like you are judging this man. & fyi-I know the family & craig carlos-valentino is half african american! Yes, he is, his father is black. STICK THAT IN UR PIPE, MOTHA F*CKER!

  6. @Nunya ummmmm Why the anger??? I dont think this article is saying Craig should have died if you take the time to read it in its entirety! But by reading your comment it almost seems CLEAR you need HELP too though!!!

  7. I agree Police need to practice more restraint. And more lives would be saved if they did so. But maybe the Valentiono situation isn’t the best example.
    The police acted they way they did because this guy claimed he was going to blow up one of the most important road ways in Norther California killing a lot of people.
    When it comes massive deaths all of once, people will naturally be more cautious. In the world we live in with limited time , money and man-power I don’t see how police could afford to have 5hours stand offs with which altercation/situation they have in a 24hr period.
    We should expect more from our police. But unfortunately , just like politicians, they are still human.
    But I say again. I agree Police need more restraint. And the world would be a better place.

  8. ooooh poor Nunya.. do u need hug a diaper to feel better.. or do u need a reading instructor so u can better comprehend the article.. Stop crying dimwit and read the article..

  9. Nunya, take a step back for a second. Please read the article again. It is not saying craig should have died. It is about the police need ingto show more restraint and that all the people mentioned should have lived. That is what this whole website is about.

    If you want to see cruelty and misguided priotities…Go check out my earlier posts in reference to policelink.com On the same day they posted a story about an asian american running from the police who accidentally fell to his death on an overpass and a story about a dog that fell off a cliff.

    The cop/ members of that site trashed the human in their comments but the dog and officer that saved the dog were both praised to high heaven

  10. To value the life of a dog over a person merely running from the police is par for a lot of these officers.

    The subject who fell was Jason Yang. Officers responded to a fight in front of a club in minneapolis.
    When they arrived, Jason took off running He ran to a nearby interstate. He jumped off a ramp misjudging the distance and fell about two stories to a parking lot where he died.


  11. Waistbands don’t kill!

    I’m so tired of this line…here we have Nate Sanders, Kevin Brown…all “reaching for their waistband.”

    Until you see a gun (“shiny object”??? won’t say what it is??? PUHHHLLLEASE!!!)…POINTED AT YOU…you are not in “immediate threat of danger.”

    My sympathies go out to the Jones’ — this is clearly a targeting. It’s no wonder he ran with this history with OPD.

  12. what about the guy, richard ruben calkins, who killed two people than attacked a police station in Vacaville, smashing a glass door? he was tased and subdued. that just doesn’t happen to black people.

Let us know what u think..

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s