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Message from Mayor Nancy Kemnitzer
August 25, 2020
This past weekend I learned of a disturbing incident that occurred in the early hours of Friday morning at Yema, a shop on Main Street, Tiburon. Yema is a Black-owned business and highly popular store in the heart of town. The incident involved the local owners, who were restocking their store inventory shortly after midnight, and three police officers. When I saw the video of the incident on social media, I contacted our police chief and city manager, and learned that one was from Belvedere. Whatever the intentions of the officers might have been, the events portrayed in the video appear racist and troubling. This is not what we expect from community policing.
I have received confirmation from our city manager that Tiburon and Belvedere have initiated an independent investigation of the incident, involving all three officers. When the investigation is concluded, I will share the findings and recommendations, and a response from our police chief, including changes in policy and training,
As Mayor of Belvedere, I went in person to the shop, Yema, yesterday to apologize to the owners of this wonderful store, Yema Khalif and Hawi Awash, for the incident. We very much value them and appreciate their contributions to our community.
There has understandably been considerable concern expressed by citizens of Belvedere about this incident as well as the larger issue of racial justice in our community. The Belvedere City Council and Tiburon Town Council will together host a community town hall to listen to the concerns of our community members about racial justice. The meeting will be held via Zoom on Thursday, August 27th at 6:30 p.m.
For information on accessing the Zoom meeting, please click here.