On January 10, 2019 at 7pm, a minor traffic collision occurred in downtown Davis. Someone called 911 and 22 year-old City of Davis Police Officer Natalie Corona responded to the scene. While on-scene Officer Corona was ambushed and shot to death. The murder took place approximately 1/2 mile from ASUCD headquarters.
Officer Corona, the daughter of a retired police officer, had been on solo patrol for less than a month. It was the first time in over half a century that a Davis Police Officer was murdered in the line of duty.
Controversial Facebook Post
Several days after Officer Corona's murder, and before her body had been buried, the ASUCD Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission, led by commission chair Rina Singh, released a statement from their official Facebook page.
The statement from Ms. Singh's Commission criticized a widely-disseminated photograph of Officer Corona posing with a Thin Blue Line flag, calling the flag: "Blatantly anti-Black and disrespectful" and strongly implied that association with or support for this flag is a racist act. The Facebook post offered the assistance of Ms. Singh's Commission to any UC Davis students who felt "triggered" by seeing the flag but did not offer counseling to students who felt shaken by the murder itself.
It does not appear that Ms. Singh or her commissioners have provided any evidence that Officer Corona was herself a racist.
The Facebook post made by Ms. Singh's Commission, and the Commission Facebook account, were quickly deleted.
College and Nationwide Reaction
The controversial Facebook post reached national news . Many people inside and outside of UC Davis felt that the Facebook post was offensive in content, as it appeared to imply that Officer Corona had committed a racist act by posing with the flag. Many also felt that the timing of the Facebook post was offensive, as the post was made only days after the officer's murder.
The UC Davis public relations office expressed "disappointment" with the Facebook post. (source)
Others, including the Sacramento chapter of Black Lives Matter, felt that the Facebook post was a justified criticism of the Thin Blue Line organization, which supports police officers. The Young Socialist Democrats of America also felt that the Facebook post was justified.
UC Davis Student Government Responses
Many ASUCD officials denounced the statement made by Ms. Singh's Commission.
ASUCD President Michael Gofman criticized the Commission's Facebook post, noting that Thin Blue Line USA, an organization which uses this flag as their emblem, has publicly rejected any use of the flag in ways that are racist, hateful, or bigoted. (source)
Some ASUCD senators wrote a resolution honoring Officer Corona and law enforcement in general. The bill failed. (Attached here is a history of the bill and record of which senators voted for/against it: Failed resolution.docx .
During the contentious Senate meeting wherein the resolution to honor Officer Corona failed, Senator Jumoke Maraiyesa claimed that there were not enough people of color in the meeting room because they - people of color - felt "unsafe," though the California Aggie article did not indicate that Ms. Maraiyesa elaborated on what fears or threats she was referring to, or whom had communicated those concerns to her. The Aggie reported that two security guards were present at this meeting.(Source: 1/21/2019 Aggie article)
Many elected and unelected ASUCD officials ultimately signed an open letter honoring Officer Corona. 9 out of 12 ASUCD Senators signed the letter.
Commission Chair Rina Singh's statements following the Facebook post
Ms. Singh indicated during an ASUCD Senate meeting that she would support a resolution honoring Officer Corona, so long as the resolution also discussed police brutality and the existence of institutional racism in American policing. (Source: 1-24-19-Minutes.pdf )
At a January 22, 2019 public forum, Ms. Singh publicly defended her Commission's Facebook post and rejected calls to apologize for it. Ms. Singh complained at this forum that she had received threats as a result of her Commission's Facebook post but did not provide details of these threats. It is not known whether Ms. Singh filed a police report regarding any threats.
During a March 7, 2019 ASUCD Senate meeting, Ms. Singh complained again regarding the negative response to her Commission's actions. (Source) According to the ASUCD Senate recorder's transcript, Ms. Singh stated that she does not "like being the center of attention" and that she doesn't wish for "anybody to go through the things that she has gone through," claiming again that she has been the recipient of death threats.
Citing backlash that she has received, Ms. Singh said that she recently had been "crying in a way I never cried before" and considered resignation, noting that nobody "apologized" to her. (3_7_19-Minutes.pdf)
Subsequent police-related 2019 UC Davis Student Government actions
A month after Officer Corona's murder, UC Davis English professor Joshua Clover doubled-down on statements he'd made years earlier, encouraging that people murder police officers. Mr. Clover has not retracted or modified his statements to this effect. ASUCD took no official stance on Mr. Clover's statements and he suffered no professional discipline.
In April 2019, three months after Officer Corona's murder, a new police-related resolution (here: SR16_SQ19-2.docx ) was introduced at the ASUCD Senate. This resolution, co-authored by Rina Singh and Jonina Balabis, both then-members of the Ethnic and Cultural Affairs Commission, demanded that UC Davis police officers begin patrolling without firearms. The resolution ultimately passed.
2019-02-22 06:03:03 imo It should be an official investigation. Surely, people cannot just taint someone’s reputation like this, and like mentioned, in this case, it’s even worse, because Natalie Corona can’t defend herself anymore.
Now, this is what Í call a hate manifest: http://www.inciteaction.com/black_lives_won_t_be_derailed?fbclid=IwAR3BnKzHulebFcS2ChzsSsH8almL-6Xnpwfrdn2jthMka_GZYKEORW8SUFk
“The hard, direct, and chilling fact is that the blue lives matter “movement” is simply repackaged Nazi propaganda. They are not trying to protect officers from those who would harm them (namely white nationalists), they are spewing anti-Black, ultra-authoritarian, toxic-masculine, and fascist ideologies.”
In many countries it’s illegal to deny the holocaust.
imo what is happening right here, is equally damaging, to accuse the Police and specifically Natalie Corona of being a Nazi in disguise, should be considered stuff for legal repercussion. I have to wonder if the people who wrote this hate manifest even realize what they are talking about, using words like “Nazi” and “fascist”. I suggest they start reading some good books on the second world war.
Hence, I suggest the offical investigation starts here.
2019-02-27 00:09:35 And now my opinion to the Joshua Clover thing. Wow, just wow. But not in a positive way. This goes under the “First Amendment”???? Yeah, sure, like a devil’s pitchfork goes under Heaven’s wings.
Oh, and I want to add: the Netherlands, the country where I was born, would consider this: “Oproepen tot haat/haatzaaien”, meaning a calls for hatred, which is punishable by law (!).
I think “Davis” might start to reconsider the limits of what is considered permissible.