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Crime

Can ‘community ambassadors’ untangle Richmond’s relationship with the police?

Richmond Police Sgt. Florencio Rivera lifts a thick leather belt from the trunk of his police cruiser. He points to several objects dangling from it — pepper spray, handcuffs, riot baton, pistol, Taser — and explains: These are just stand-ins. The baton is made of foam, the Taser is unloaded, and the pistol fires Airsoft pellets. Together, they represent a pretend version of the “duty kit” carried by Richmond officers. Rivera is supervising a mock scenario as part of the…

Portraits of East Bay activists: Alana Banks

It is the first day back since spring break. Alana Banks still has her tan from Barbados. She walks onto UC Berkeley’s campus behind Sproul Hall to the Fannie Lou Hamer Center, a small tin building named after the voting rights activist. If you weren’t familiar with the place, it would be easy to miss, as it is hidden behind the English department and to the far left of the art studio. Banks, who is from Oakland, is one of the co-founders of the center, which opened in February. It is the first space set aside as resource center for black students on UC Berkeley’s campus.

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