Watch CBS News

CHP Officers Clear Protesters From Governor Newsom's Fair Oaks Mansion Demanding Mass Clemency For California Inmates

FAIR OAKS (CBS13) - CHP officers faced off Monday with protesters in front of Governor Newsom's Fair Oaks mansion.

Approximately 75 protesters gathered in front of the high metal gates, demanding the release of inmates whose lives are at risk because of exposure to COVID-19, they say. They were also demanding the stop of ICE transfers.

"Can I have your badge number?" asked a man with a camera videotaping police.

Cameras were rolling as protesters were carried out in handcuffs by CHP Officers after a demonstration that lasted over two hours outside the governor's home. More than a dozen were arrested after protesters had chained themselves to the gate and refused to leave.

Officers dressed in riot gear gave the group three separate orders to disperse.

"We demand you stop transferring Inmates to ICE," said one man who had chained himself to the gate.

They were also asking for mass clemency or the emergency release of prisoners.

"The issue is that folks aren't getting adequate medical care, they're not social distancing, they're in cells -- they'll constantly be contracting COVID if we don't social distance," said a protester. "Mass releasing allows people to come home to their families so they can self-quarantine, so they can heal, so that they can recover from this tragic event."

READ ALSO: 'Where's My Justice?' Woman Fears For Her Life As Violent Prisoner Is Released Due To Pandemic

protest at governor's mansion
Protesters chained themselves together have also chained themselves to the gates of Gov. Gavin Newsom's home in Fair Oaks.

The group calls itself the California Liberation Collective.

Amber Piatt with the California Liberation Collective said, "Those who are incarcerated are absolutely not able to follow COVID-19 precautions recommended by public health leaders."

Protesters sang, chanted, and painted messages on the street in front of the mansion. Some even chained themselves to the gate of the home.

There are 7,690 confirmed cases in the state inmate population with 1,042 in the last two weeks, 47 have died. Several inmates, some of them, so-called "three strikers," have been released for health reasons.

Hien Nguyen with the California Liberation Collective said, "In a moment like this, this is exactly what we need. We need people to come home to their families and we believe that is the safest place they can be."

To get their message out, they painted the street, held up signs and even marched through the neighborhood. Not everyone was happy to see them.

"Nobody cares nobody cares! Go home, go back to your neighborhood," said one woman who did not want to be identified.

Some residents were concerned about the lack of social distancing during the protest, which they felt could spread the coronavirus even more. CHP was taking the necessary precautions.

"We are not able to do social distancing at this time so everyone was wearing masks to protect themselves and the people at the same time," CHP Officer Greg Zumstein said.

CHP says they responded with a large group of personnel because it was a public safety issue and dozens of people were blocking the street. Officers say no injuries were reported.

CHP says the 14 people arrested face charges of unlawful assembly, failure to disperse without a warning, and trespassing.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.