New Sheriffs in Town: How Local Elections Can Help End Racist Mass Jailings and Deportations

New Sheriffs in Town: How Local Elections Can Help End Racist Mass Jailings and Deportations

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Thursday, Jul. 11 3:45 PM (Eastern)

Ends: Thursday, Jul. 11 4:45 PM (Eastern)

Room: 118B

Throughout U.S. history, county sheriffs have been at the forefront of police violence against people of color. As James Baldwin noted, the sheriff was “hired by the Republic to keep the Republic White.” Today, sheriffs are central to the “New Jim Crow,” as their jails feed mass incarceration and deportation machines of bigoted politicians who target communities of color and immigrants. Building off the legacies of civil rights leaders and those who defeated racist Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, organizers across the U.S. are issuing calls to action against bad sheriffs whose elections are down ballot and ignored. In 2018, voter mobilization, especially with young voters of color, brought new sheriffs to town, and 2020 promises new wins.


Nanci Palacios

Nanci Palacios

Nanci Palacios is a DACA recipient and Lead Community Organizer with Faith in Florida. Nanci has seen fears rise in immigrant communities as local sheriffs have upped arrests and detentions to help federal immigration agents deport immigrants. When a Florida sheriff misled Nanci’s team about his agreement with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, Nanci organized a voter education campaign around the sheriff’s race. Nanci is also is an intervenor in a Texas-led lawsuit seeking to end DACA, and is Lead Organizer with the Faith in Florida Action Fund, a C4 organization. In the last election, the Fund worked to get Amendment 4 passed, which restored voting rights to returning citizens.


Angela Lang


Angela Lang was born and raised in the heart of Milwaukee and is serving as Executive Director of Black Leaders Organizing for Communities (BLOC). Before then, she served as Political Director with For Our Future Wisconsin, where she worked to develop partnerships with local organizations and oversee the local grant process. In addition, she worked for the Service Employees International Union where she was an organizer and State Council Director, coordinating the political endorsement process and organizing the Homecare and Nursing Home workers into the Fight For 15 campaign. Angela is a graduate of Emerge Wisconsin class of 2015 and has had the pleasure of being the trainer for diversity weekend every year since her graduation. Angela is motivated by making substantial and transformative change in her community while developing young local leaders of color. In her organizing experience it is clear that there is a deep need for cultural competency, diversity, and more seats at the table. Her journey has in organizing hasn’t always been easy as oftentimes she is the only woman, young person and person of color in the room expected to speak on behalf of all those communities. She constantly advocates for more seats at the table for those who have been shut out of the political process.

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Garry McFadden


Sheriff Garry L McFadden is a thirty-six-year veteran of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (“CMPD”). Sheriff McFadden is one of the most decorated law enforcement officers in the history of CMPD. He spent thirty years as a detective and twenty years in the homicide unit. After a stellar career, Sheriff McFadden retired from Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department on July 31, 2011 and was immediately re-hired by the City of Charlotte and assigned to work in the Office of the Chief to the Community Relations Unit to help implement programs within the community.
In 2015 while working for Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department Sheriff McFadden and three local barbers created a community initiative called; Cops & Barbers, the initiative captured the attention of “The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing”, and as a result, President Obama invited the group to the White House. President Obama considered this vision as one of the top ten initiative in creating meaningful relationships in communities.
As a detective with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, Sheriff McFadden has been featured on; American Most Wanted, The First 48 and The Justice Files and a contributor to People magazine and other national media outlets.
On June 14, 2016, Investigative Discovery channel presented “I Am Homicide” a docuseries highlighting a few of Sheriff McFadden’s most complex homicide cases as a homicide detective with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department that he worked over the span of three decades. The début of this nationally and international television show allowed Sheriff McFadden to be the first African American Law Enforcement Officer to have his own television show. He completed 2 seasons and is being asked to film a third season.
On May 8th 2018 the voters of Mecklenburg County in North Carolina elected McFadden as their next Sheriff making him the first African American Sheriff in the history of the county.
On December 4th 2018 Sheriff Garry McFadden became the 45th Sheriff of Mecklenburg County.
Garry has been married to Cathy G. McFadden for the past 30 years with three adult children and one amazing grandson

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Max Rose


Max Rose is the founder and executive director of Sheriffs for Trusting Communities, which works alongside grassroots organizers across the country to end mass incarceration and stop deportations while building progressive political power. Max’s work has focused at the intersection of justice, racial equity and the South. Prior, Max helped to build Made in Durham, a partnership aimed at shifting systems to ensure that young people of color connect to his hometown’s increasing wealth. Max lives in Washington DC, where he coaches a high school soccer team that has won one game during his three-year tenure.

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