Activists want more accountability for San Jose POA after exec charged in drug probe

Joanne Segovia, San Jose police union executive charged in distributing opioids, including fentanyl

A coalition of community activists is demanding more accountability from the City of San Jose and the San Jose Police Officers Association after one of the Association’s executives was charged with distributing opioids, including fentanyl

On Wednesday multiple groups, including the NAACP, called on the City of San Jose to stop negotiating with the POA and to conduct an independent investigation into Joanne Segovia’s drug charges.  

"This lady who’s under the POA has been doing it internationally. How many people have died because she brought that stuff into our communities?" said  Lori Valdez, a community activist in Silicon Valley. 

The NAACP, Silicon Valley Debug, and the Asian Law Alliance gathered in San Jose to demand city leaders hold the POA accountable for the actions of their former Executive Director JoAnne Segovia. Last week Segovia was charged by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for a scheme to import and distribute drugs nationwide. 

"We as a community are saying this needs to be investigated, there has to be actions taken, and we don’t expect the city and elected officials to be able to conduct, busy as usual," said Raj Jayadev, Silicon Valley Debug coordinator. 


Segovia is not a San Jose city employee but Jayadev and other activists say the City should stop any contract negotiations with the POA and conduct its own investigation outside the federal probe. San Jose’s mayor says the city will cooperate with federal agencies.  

"I support the Office of Homeland Security, FBI, U.S. Attorneys, other federal agencies conducting the investigation as I understand it, is ongoing…an independent investigation that’s ongoing and if there’s any information the city has that can support that in any way, we’re here to help," Mahan said.    

The San Jose Police Officer’s Association also released this statement, saying part:

"The NAACP and Mr. Jayadev’s comments are absurd, hypocritical and are in direct contradiction to the facts made available by the U.S. Attorney. No other individual associated with the POA is involved, being investigated, or suspected by the authorities of knowing or participating in any way in this incident." 


"It just makes us wonder, what are they really doing or what’s going on there? I think it doesn’t help in terms of rebuilding any kind of relationship or trust between the community and the police department," said Richard Konda, Asian Law Association executive director.  

Jayadev also told KTVU he thinks it’s unfair that Segovia is out on bail while other people don’t get bail for the same drug charges. 

The POA says they’re fully cooperating with the federal investigation.