Following is the text of the Declaration of Independence in celebration of Independence Day, July 4th, 2019:
IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.
The 56 signatures on the Declaration appear in the positions indicated:
Thomas Heyward, Jr.
Thomas Lynch, Jr.
Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Richard Henry Lee
Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Francis Lightfoot Lee
Robert Treat Paine
From the website: www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration.html
Happy Independence Day from the Contra Costa Herald!Read More
Earlier this week, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office charged Hakeem Doeparker of Antioch with multiple felonies including a series of carjackings, attempted extortion, second degree robbery and criminal threats. The criminal complaint filed against Doeparker also alleges multiple enhancements for the defendant’s use of a firearm during the commission of these alleged crimes. Doeparker pleaded not guilty on July 2 to the charges our Office filed against him. He remains in custody and his bail is $787,000.
Doeparker allegedly used female profiles on apps such as Skout and MeetMe! to arrange meetings with unsuspecting male victims. After instructing victims to go to a particular address on Tehachapi Court in Antioch, Doeparker would approach them from behind, point a gun (often with a green laser) at the victim, and threaten to shoot or kill them if they did not hand over either money or their car keys.
The current charges relate to four known victims, with those offenses occurring throughout the month of June 2019. All victims were able to get away unharmed, though the defendant did succeed in taking money and two cars. The cars were later recovered by Antioch police officers near the defendant’s residence.
The District Attorney’s office is actively working with Antioch Police Department on the case. The investigation is ongoing, and police believe there may be several additional victims in the Bay Area. Victims and anyone else with information are encouraged to contact Antioch Police Department Detective Adrian Gonzalez at 925-779-6923.
The public is also urged to exercise caution when arranging meetings with unknown persons through various phone apps, as this is increasingly becoming a strategy used to set up unsuspecting victims.
Case information: People v. Hakeem Zimikael Doeparker, Docket Number 04-197157-1
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More
Son of Oakland Council President and Vice Mayor. Partner, a former California Department of Veterans Affairs Assistant Deputy Secretary, pleaded guilty in 2017, to be sentenced in November.
By U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of California, Department of Justice
SAN FRANCISCO – Taj Armon Reid was sentenced to 12 months in prison for conspiracy and receiving bribes, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson; Federal Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett; and Department of Energy Office of the Inspector General, Inspector General Teri L. Donaldson. The sentence was handed down today by the Honorable Charles R. Breyer, U.S. District Court Judge.
After a four-day jury trial, a federal jury found Reid, 48, of Oakland, guilty of the crimes on May 24, 2018. (See related East Bay Express article). Reid, the son of Oakland Vice Mayor and Council President Larry Reid, was a construction consultant and business partner with Eric Worthen, 46, of Pleasant Hill, who, at the time, was also an Assistant Deputy Secretary for the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet). The evidence at trial demonstrated Reid received bribes on two occasions in connection with business being offered by CalVet. The jury also concluded Reid conspired with Worthen to receive the bribes. (See related KPIX5 report)
The evidence at trial showed that Reid accepted cash from a source on April 18, and again on May 8. In April, Reid offered a developer an inside advantage on two CalVet construction projects in exchange for $10,000 cash. Specifically, Reid offered to use Worthen’s position at CalVet to circumvent the normal bidding process for a residential home project in Ventura, Calif. The May transaction involved a kitchen remodel project at the veterans’ home in West Los Angeles. On this occasion, Reid and Worthen accepted $2,000 cash in exchange for providing to the developer inside information that the co-conspirator took from the CalVet office. Unbeknownst to Reid and Worthen, the “developer” to whom they were providing an inside track on the CalVet contracts was a source working under the direction of the FBI and posing as a developer willing to pay bribes in order to obtain contracts with public agencies. At the conclusion of the trial, the jury found Reid guilty of conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, and two counts of receiving a bribe or reward, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 666(a)(1)(B).
In addition to the prison term, Judge Breyer ordered Reid to serve three years of supervised release.
Worthen pleaded guilty in August of 2017 to his part in the conspiracy and for taking bribes. Judge Breyer scheduled his sentencing for November 6, 2019.
The case is being prosecuted by the Special Prosecutions and National Security Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI, with assistance from the Department of Energy, Office of Inspector General.
Allen Payton contributed to this report.Read More
By Richmond Police
An auto burglary took place on June 26th around 10:40PM. Officers responded to Railroad Ave and E. Richmond Street and discovered broken glass. The victim’s car window was shattered, and the following equipment was stolen:
+ (2) Drones: DJI Mavic 2 Zoom + Mavic 2 Pro
+Lenses: 24-70, 70-200, 60, 85, 10.5, SB-800 Speedlight
+Apple Macbook Pro
+Apple Macbook Air
+Black Pelican case
Officers are currently looking for a potential suspect(s). If you have any information, please contact Dt. Martin at (510) 672-0611.
As a friendly reminder, be sure to remove all visible valuables from your vehicle.Read More
Wednesday afternoon, June 26, 2019 around 4:30pm, we responded to a collision on Mount Diablo Scenic Blvd near Diablo Ranch Drive. Upon arrival, we located a bicyclist down on the roadway and a Chevy SUV. Emergency medical aid was given to the bicyclist, and the adult male rider was driven by ambulance to the Athenian School where he was life flighted to a local hospital. Unfortunately, he succumbed to his injuries later that night.
The driver of the Chevy remained on scene and is cooperating with our investigation. The location where this collision occurred is a narrow winding roadway and it appears the bicyclist and vehicle hit head on. The rider was wearing a helmet.
If you have any information about this collision, please call the Contra Costa CHP Office at 925-646-4980.Read More
Lafayette, CA – Contra Costa County Public Works will perform roadwork on Taylor Boulevard approximately 0.6 miles north of its intersection with Rancho View Drive starting July 1 through July 11, weather permitting. The Public Works Department’s contractor will repair and replace a disconnected concrete storm drainpipe and repair damage to the road pavement.
Traffic may be affected by temporary lane closures between the hours of 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Mondays through Thursdays. A changeable message sign and other construction signs will be placed in advance of the construction activities.Read More
Earlier this month, the Board of State and Community Corrections awarded the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office $1 million to establish a county-wide juvenile diversion pre-filing program. This diversion program will be the first county-wide program for Contra Costa County and comes on the announcement earlier this spring that our Office was starting a pilot program in Richmond for the fall of 2019. The BSCC grant will enable the pilot program in Richmond to be expanded and eventually taken county-wide.
The District Attorney’s Office joins the Contra Costa County Department of Probation, the RYSE Youth center, and Impact Justice to initiate a restorative justice program that will redirect youth from the juvenile and criminal justice system over a period of four years. The program will work with young people who have committed crimes and bring them together with those they have impacted in the community in order to atone for damages made and rebuild relationships.
“I am proud to have this program for the first-time ever in our county’s history. Our Office has a crucial role to play in reducing the pipeline into the juvenile justice system while at the same time reducing disparities in the entire criminal justice system. We have to invest in our youth to ensure they have other opportunities in their lives,” said District Attorney Diana Becton.
With the help of RYSE, the program hopes to lower recidivism rates, increase victim satisfaction, improve the youths’ relationships with their families, and lower incarceration and probation costs. Youth will learn about accountability and healing, as well as, how to establish trusting relationships with adults and authority figures. During the restorative justice process, RYSE will provide the victim and the youth offender with wrap-around services along with a facilitator for each person involved in the case.
By providing troubled youths with more resources and opportunities, Contra Costa hopes to divert up to 230 youths away from the juvenile justice system. A similar program in the Bay Area proved to be successful. Alameda County’s restorative justice program was remarkably successful as recidivism rates decreased; youths who participated in the program were 44 percent less likely to recidivate compared to similarly situated probation youth. The program carries a one-time cost of $4,500 per case while probation costs $23,000 per year and incarceration costs nearly $500,000 annually.Read More
El Sobrante, CA – Contra Costa County Public Works Department plans to repair a landslide along the western embankment of San Pablo Dam Road approximately 0.5 miles south of the Tri Lane intersection. The work will begin on July 1 with anticipated completion by October 3, weather permitting.
Traffic may be affected between the hours of 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, Mondays through Thursdays. Changeable message signs and other construction signs will be placed in advance of the construction activities.Read More
By Concord Police Department
Not on our Watch! Patrol officers from the Graves 1 team of the Concord PD responded to a silent alarm/probable burglary in-progress in the 1300 block of Galaxy Way on Wed., June 26 at 4:07 AM. Officers arrived in less than one minute and saw two vehicles fleeing. Officers tried to stop both vehicles and dual pursuits were initiated when both vehicles fled from pursuing officers onto Commerce Ave, across Concord Ave, then proceeding the wrong way up the southbound HYW 242 on-ramp. Officers stopped their pursuit(s) for safety reasons. A few moments later officers located one of the vehicles, a large RV, driving south on s/b HWY 242.
Officers pursued the RV for approximately 8-10 miles until the RV once again drove the wrong way up the southbound HWY 242 off-ramp at Solano Way, where CPD Officers terminated their pursuit. With help from citizen callers, the RV was located again, this time travelling west on the shoulder of eastbound HWY 4.
The driver, 34-year-old Jessica Tomsky (born 3/26/1985), was arrested for several counts of fleeing police officers, commercial burglary and possession of stolen property. There was stolen property from the commercial burglary she just fled from and stolen property from other commercial burglaries from Concord and other jurisdictions.
The Graves 1 team would like to thank the caller(s) who took the time to call 9-1-1 and update us on the location of the RV. Without help from our citizen’s our job would be much more difficult.Read More
Courageous & Emerging Leadership Academy (CELA) is hosting its first ever “CELA Honors Everyday Heroes” buffet dinner and auction fundraiser at La Piñata Restaurant in Pittsburg on Thursday, July 18, 2019, at 5:30 pm. This event is an awards ceremony held in appreciation of leaders, mentors, and advocates making a difference in the community through their work with at-risk and vulnerable youth.
There will be raffles and silent auction prizes, including an all-inclusive 7-9 nights resort and spa vacation for two to Antigua! Event tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased on Eventbrite at https://cela.eventbrite.com. All proceeds benefit CELA, a local non-profit organization dedicated to the education and mentoring of Bay Area youth ages 8-20. CELA has been serving the region since 2017 and currently partners with the Richmond Police Activities League (RPAL) to provide services that present local youth with opportunities to succeed.
Your donations and ticket purchases will help foster CELA’s mission of building minds and saving lives through violence prevention, tutoring, and community development. In addition, you will help CELA expand their mentoring programs, which include:
• Boxing with Insight (BWI) – a pilot project that has been established to implement the combination of mentoring, counseling, education, and therapeutic case management support through boxing and martial arts training.
• Financial Literacy Program “Biz Kids”- a program provided by Travis Credit Union for high school students to engage in building tools for their future.
If you would like to make a donation to CELA, please contact Ms. Jacqueline King-Walton, Executive Director at (707) 301-1162 or Mrs. Phyllis Ritter, Board President at (925) 628-1641. More information about CELA’s unique programming can be found on their website at www.celacademy.org.Read More