Protesters rally outside Marin County Jail, demand sheriff stop cooperating with ICE

More than 100 people rallied outside the Marin County Jail Friday evening, demanding the sheriff cease cooperation with federal immigration agents. 

A coalition of groups, dedicated to racial justice, want the sheriff's budget slashed as well.  

"Sheriff Robert Doyle can't operate with impunity," exclaimed Yavar Amidi, of the organization Ice out of Marin. 

"We are all holding Sheriff Doyle accountable for his cooperation with ICE and for his hyper-policing of black people."

Amidi was one of many speakers addressing the crowd, gathered at the Marin Civic Center in San Rafael.

Doyle, the 24-year sheriff, has been repeatedly criticized for alerting ICE to an undocumented inmate's release, and handing them off for immigration detention. 

In response, Doyle has assured the public and elected county supervisors that he now limits the the practice to only those accused or convicted of serious and violent crimes. 

But rally speakers want the practice banned, and funding increases for the department denied.    

"We want a law that says they're going to de-fund this sheriff and give the money back to the community," shouted Amidi.

Sheriff Doyle was swift to condemn the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

He is reviewing use-of-force policies, and has asked for the formation of a citizen's committee to participate. 

About half of the Sheriff's Department employees are women or persons of color. 

In a recent meeting of the Board of Supervisors, Doyle spoke against cuts to his budget.

He did not respond to KTVU for comment on Friday's rally. 

"We are in a serious time right now, essentially a revolution right now," said speaker Noah Haynesworth. 

As a youth organizer, Haynesworth encouraged other young people to research candidates and issues, then vote. 

"It is evident that the people in power now have done no change for us". 

Overwhelmingly white, Marin County leans left politically.

Critics say the affluent county is rife with racial inequity, as evidence by segregation and dramatic income gaps. 

"White people need to stop feeling that because they pay more in property tax than I do in rent or sales tax that their kid should go to a better school," complained one speaker. 

Another protester was even more blunt about educational inequity. 

"All the young people are finally sharing their stories of what it's like to go to school here in Marin so don't tell us you are progressive and liberal, because you are racist," she accused.  

The founder of a college-preparation non-profit urged the crowd to remain unified. 

"What police are doing now, is creating chaos among the minorities, thinking they're going to win," said Rondell Gibson of 10,000 Degrees. 

"But guess what? we are united and we all stand together."  

The protest was smaller than others recently, but no less impassioned. 

And neighborhood activists who listened expect momentum to continue.

"I really do feel hopeful that change is happening in incremental stages now," said Damian Morgan of Marin City.

"I think it's going to continue to change and nothing will stop this movement going forward."

That sentiment was seconded by his friend Paul Austin, also of Marin City.

"We shouldn't be fighting to change the system," said Austin. "The system should be asking, 'what do you need from us?', for the system to really work for black and brown people."