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The Vallejo Police Department was one of the subjects of the May 2 season opener for CNN”s “United Shades of America,” entitled “Policing the Police,” which focused on the need for police reform in America.

Vallejo’s track record for police shootings and assault is so alarming that it has sparked national stories in the New Yorker, The Appeal and The Guardian.

The Department of Justice has stepped in to review the VPD last summer after the death of Sean Monterrosa at the hands of the police in the Walgreens parking lot on June 2.

The city has also declared a “state of emergency” due to its embattled police department. Chief Shawny Williams was hired 15 months ago to begin what the city hoped would be an overhaul of the department, not only to quell the police-involved shootings but to cut down on the millions in lawsuits in the wake of the deaths or assaults.

On Sunday’s show, comedian and activist W. Kamau Bell’s show United Shades of America traveled all over the Bay Area to talk police reform and its impacts on communities.

Vallejo’s Geoffrey King was featured on the show and summed up why the VPD is getting so much attention. Citing the Pew Research Center and reporting done by his own independent, nonprofit news site, Open Vallejo, King laid out some sobering statistics — a survey of  7,917 law enforcement officers over 54 agencies found that 73 percent of officers nationally have never fired their weapons during their career. For Vallejo, King said, the number of officers who have shot at a person is 40, based on a snapshot of officers on duty in mid-2019 alone, and “at least one-third (14 officers) have been involved in at least two or more.”

King estimates that ten percent of all the killings in Vallejo have been carried out by Vallejo officers.

“This place is saturated with the blood of people in this community,” he said.

Bell also spoke with journalist Otis Taylor and his coverage of the VPD for the San Francisco Chronicle (Taylor has recently accepted a position of senior supervising editor for race and equity at KQED). Taylor spoke of how he questioned the police account of the death of Angel Ramos, killed by police on his back porch in 2017 after fighting with a minor.

Deputy District DA Sharon S. Henry released a report on the shooting that absolved the officer that shot Ramos of any wrongdoing. The VPD alleged that Ramos was seen with a knife in his hand “making stabbing motions.”

“There is no way this happened the way the police said it happened,” Taylor told Bell. “They were saying Angel was on top of someone, about to stab them, when the police officer, to save someone’s life, shot him… No knife was found on that porch… Even the minor told me, ‘There was no knife. We were fighting.”

But Bell also sat down with Williams and asked him some pointed questions about the shootings and scandals that have plagued the department, which Bell referred to as “the deadliest police force in Northern California.” The interview didn’t make it to the CNN airing, but excerpts of it are posted on the CNN website, and the VPD released its own footage of it as well.

Bell asks about the badge-bending scandal, which alleges that VPD officers bent back the prongs of the stars on their badges every time they killed a suspect.

“That matter is under investigation,” Williams said. “Anyone that celebrates the killing of a human being by bending a badge is not fit to wear our patch.”

Bell then asks about the shooting of Monterrosa.

“My sympathy goes out to Sean’s family,” Williams said. “One of the things that I did after that occurred was to ask for a third party administrative investigation, which is the first time that this has happened in the history of Vallejo. Those are unfortunate circumstances. They’re tragic. And we want to assure the public that we’re doing everything that we need to to look critically at those incidents so that we can improve our processes.

Williams told Bell that he changed the body-worn camera policy from “should” activate to “shall” activate during all encounters. He also said that he has beefed up de-escalation training and wants to focus on community policing, which he says are strong community partnerships between residents, the police, the city council, and others.

“We’re not perfect and everyone needs that helping hand. We rise by lifting others,” he said. “We need to do it humbly. I think what we’re talking about is building relationships and the only way to do that is to understand that we need to have reconciliation. We need to restore the system, but its gonna have to be a collective responsibility.”

Williams recently fired Lt. Michael Nichelini, and though the chief says that he cannot discuss personnel matters, he released a strongly-worded statement last December about an email Nichelini sent to Taylor, seemingly taunting him for his coverage of the police.

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Nichelini filed suit in March for $7.5 million against Williams, City Manager Greg Nyhoff, Assistant City Manager Anne Cardwell, the city council, former Mayor Bob Sampayan, and current Mayor Robert McConnell for “harassment, retaliation, and intimidation.”

“I cannot change the past,” Williams said. “But I can impact the future and that’s what we are focused on.”

Full episodes of United Shades of America are available on Hulu. The interviews with King and Williams are currently available on, and extended cuts of Williams’ statements to Bell can be found here:

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Simon Guobadia offers $50K if fans can find proof of cheating in marriage

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Reality shows are full of drama by nature, but the latest romantic plot twist to come out of the Real Housewives of Atlanta franchise is extra messy.

Simon Guobadia, the newly-announced fiancé of RHOA’s Porsha Williams and estranged soon-to-be ex-husband of Falynn Guobadia, announced a contest with a $50,000 prize to anyone who can prove he cheated on his spouse. 

Atlanta businessman Simon Guobadia has announced a contest with a $50,000 prize to anyone who can prove he cheated on his spouse. (Instagram)

In an Instagram post, he wrote, “Let’s have some fun. If anyone can show credible receipts that I cheated on my ex-wife between 6/14/2019 (date of marriage) and 1/15/2021 (date of initial divorce filing), I have $50,000 waiting on you.” 

“In the meantime,” he continued, “we have timeline issues with someone claiming to have dated me at the same time as my fiancé, Porsha. Let’s get to some facts.” 

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A post shared by SIMON IYORE GUOBADIA (@iamsimonguobadia)

He also offered an additional $25,000 for anyone who could prove he’s cheated on Williams. 

Comments on the post were disabled. 

Read More: Multi-platinum songwriter J. Wright accused of killing girlfriend

Talk of this love triangle has dominated Black Twitter and media cycles this week since Williams made the Instagram-post announcement that the relationship between her and her ex-castmate’s former love began “a month ago.” 

“For all of you that need facts, I get the optics,” Williams shared, “but Simon filed for divorce from a previous marriage in January. I had nothing to do with their divorce filing. That’s between the two of them.” 

She wrote that she and Falynn Guobadia “are not friends.” 

Read More: Missing Las Vegas toddler found dead, mother’s boyfriend confesses

For her part, the soon-to-be ex-Mrs. Guobadia also has had her say. “I want to thank everyone for reaching out to me and offering their love and support,” she posted on Instagram. “At this time, I am focusing on finalizing my divorce and healing. Sending positivity to all of you.”

Simon Guobadia is an Atlanta businessman, the chief executive officer of SIMCOL Group, which is a holding company for several businesses, including ones in entertainment and film production.

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