Hayward: Zermeño apologizes for previously saying ‘Police Lives Matter’

Hayward Councilmember Francisco Zermeño apologized for diminishing the Black Lives Matter movement by previously using derivatives of the phrase, such as Latino Lives Matter and Police Lives Matter.

The statement was made through social media accounts connected with Zermeño’s re-election campaign and after a large Black Lives Matter rally in front of Hayward City Hall on June 3 in which speakers asserted a number of councilmembers have done little to end police brutality in Hayward.

Zermeño posted a statement on Instagram last Friday declaring support for Black Lives Matter, but the apology came after the Hayward Collective, a local social activist group that has grown to prominence in the city, urged Zermeño to apologize for saying “Police Lives Matter” and “Latino Lives Matter.”

“About seven months ago, I made some statements I regret. I apologize for the use of “Latino Lives Matter” and “Police Lives Matter” and for taking away from the #BLM movement. That was never my intention and appreciate those that have taken the time to discuss the harm of those statements,” Zermeño wrote.

“I understand that all lives can’t matter until black lives matter first. My apologies for having disrespected the “Black Lives Matter” movement, one that I support 100 percent. Thank you.”

The apology comes at a time when a restless public is actively reevaluating policing in America and its extension of white supremacy over African-Americans.

The original comments by Zermeño voicing support for law enforcement came amid a string of Hayward City Council meetings since the beginning of 2019 when police accountability activists and the family of a man fatally shot by Hayward Police alternately pleaded for help from city officials and shouted them down with harsh words. Several meetings briefly paused for recess and another forced the council to move its meeting behind closed doors and without the public.

During one such heated meeting in February 2019, Zermeño left his seat on the dais and walked toward two Hayward Police Officers who were standing against a wall, shook their hands during the council proceedings, and returned to his seat in what appeared to be a public show of support for police.

Zermeño is among three Hayward councilmembers who are seeking re-election this November in a race for four at-large seats. Along with Zermeño, Councilmembers Elisa Márquez and Mark Salínas are seeking re-election. Councilmember Al Mendall announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election.

A crowded field is shaping up. As of this week, nine candidates have filed an intent to run in November, making Zermeño’s and the other incumbent’s re-election far from assured. Zermeño was first elected in 2008, making him the second-longest-serving Hayward councilmember behind Mayor Barbara Halliday

The move by Zermeño’s campaign appears to be part of a concerted effort to move to the more progressive side of the burgeoning field of candidates. In addition, to his declaration of support for Black Lives Matter this week, Zermeño voted last February to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. He later maintained his support for the minimum wage acceleration when the majority of the council voted in April to postpone the raise for workers until next January due to the economic downturn caused by covid-19.

2 thoughts on “Hayward: Zermeño apologizes for previously saying ‘Police Lives Matter’

  1. Francisco is just trolling for votes as always. The Police Officers Association has history of providing financial support at election time. All lives do matter, but that is not the issue at this time. He sounds like an opportunist white racist. Francisco has a long history of only representing a certain segment of the Hayward community. We need someone who is committed to representing us all. Vote him out in November. He is totally ineffective and has already been there too long.


  2. What should be remembered are these 7 Hayward Dead murdered at the hands of the Hayward Police Department between 2017 and 2012. It is time to end the shielding of the Police under the guise of Law and Order.

    The Hayward Police need to be held accountable for their murders of these citizens. What is wrong is that the Hayward Police remain protected by the Thin Blue Line, The Judiciary, The Union, the Politicians, the City of Hayward, Alameda County and the state of California. What must happen is that these cases need to be reinvestigated and prosecuted with a full transparent accounting of the murders.. It is time to hold Hayward accountable to the public.

    All need to be unrelenting in your demands or this will continue.

    Edgar Alvarez 24 9/24/2012 Hayward California Police were searching for the suspect in an earlier shooting at a bar. When police attempted to stop a vehicle for questioning, the driver put the car in reverse and drove at the officers. The officers then fatally shot the driver.

    Unnamed Male 10/5/2012 Hayward California Officers approached a vehicle when they ran the plates and discovered the car was stolen. They shot the man after he allegedly reached for a weapon. Police have declined to say what the weapon was.

    Shawn Joseph Jetmore Stoddard-Nunez 19 3/3/2013 Hayward California Stoddard-Nunez was riding with 24-year-old Arthur Pakman to a friend’s house when police attempted a traffic stop and Pakman allegedly rammed his car into a police cruiser. The officer fired into the vehicle and hit Stoddard-Nunez twice, killing him. Police say they seek to charge Pakman with his friend’s death.

    Donny Simmons 37 8/14/2013 Hayward California A domestic violence suspect was fatally shot by police in his apartment after charging at officers with a knife.

    James McKinney 21 7/8/2014 Hayward California McKinney was shot by officers at the Phoenix Lodge motel when they came there to investigate an incident involving McKinney at 4:00 am. According to police, McKinney was involved in a scuffle with people inside a motel room, and a woman suffered a cut to her mouth and scrapes and bruises to her arm and chest caused by McKinney. When police arrived at the scene, McKinney lunged at them and attempted to disarm them of their guns. McKinney was shot three times in the upper body by two officers and died at the scene.

    Roy Nelson 42 12/19/2015 Hayward California Hayward Police responded about 1:00 am to a request for an emergency mental health evaluation. They put Roy Nelson in the back seat of their car and during the drive to the hospital he began to kick at the back window. They stopped to place him in a leg restraint. The police say he suffered a “medical emergency.” Emergency services were called but were unable to revive him. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.

    Elena Mondragon 16 3/16/2017 Hayward California Police officers from Fremont, California were attempting to pull over a stolen car that was wanted in connection with an armed robbery near California State University, East Bay. The vehicle went into reverse and rammed a police cruiser, which caused the officers to open fire, killing Mondragon. The three remaining occupants were arrested, with one being released.


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