Maria Moore's Open Letter to Berkeley Police Chief Andrew Greenwood

Read the letter, published by KPFA:

Kayla Moore was killed in the city she was born and raised, Berkeley, California. Kayla should be here today, marching with her friends in the city and enjoying life. Berkeley Police Department took her life, but they will never take her dignity and a fighting spirit.

[Berkeley Police] Chief Greenwood was one of the first people my family met when we were finally allowed to receive the police report after over three months of begging for the truth. [Michael] Meehan, the chief at the time, just stared with those cold eyes and [a] forced smile. But I will never forget Andrew Greenwood, who gave a sympathetic apology with a little tear in his eye.

I don’t know who’s worse, the stoic and obviously insincere Meehan or Chief Greenwood, who will look you in the eyes while pretending to care. However, he too could care less. His memo, a trivial attempt to promote Pride [Month], did not mention Kayla at all. He states, this year we seek to affirm the Berkeley Police Department’s commitment to, and support of, the LGBTQ community within our city and within our department in accordance with our dedication to safeguarding our diverse community, and treating all with dignity and respect.

Saying her name would not be a sign of guilt or responsibility, but an honest act of respecting all lives. But rather than acknowledging the Black transgender woman who was killed by your cops, you just showed us all that you were another cop at the top who could care less.

According to your memo, Pride Month is the time to recognize and support the LGBTQ community. No, Chief Greenwood, you don’t need a reason to do the right thing. All year long is the time to recognize and respect and show your commitment to the LGBTQ community.

By Maria Moore, sister of Kayla Moore, a Black transgender woman who was killed by Berkeley police officers in the middle of a mental health crisis in 2013. As read to Wren Farrell.

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