There is a controversy here because we are supposed to pretend at all times that the Qur’an and Islam have nothing whatsoever to do with violence and terrorism, and every Allahu-akbaring Muslim who goes on a stabbing spree or drives his car into a crowd of Infidels is mentally ill. Golde, by contrast, is being realistic, and is catching heat for it.
An Alameda County prosecutor recently held up an unusual piece of evidence while arguing that a man charged with a weapons violation should remain jailed without bail: a Quran.
The religious text, paired with a book on the psychology of terrorism, as well as a sawed-off rifle — all allegedly found in Dajon Ford’s car at the time of his arrest — was cause for concern, Assistant District Attorney Matthew Golde told Superior Court Judge Yolanda Northridge at an Oct. 19 bail hearing.
“What are his plans?” the prosecutor asked rhetorically.
The Quran was cited among several arguments Golde made suggesting Ford was a threat to the community, in addition to noting his previous criminal history. But the move has drawn heat from at least one local civil rights attorney, and stunned defense attorney Claire White, who called Golde’s line of questioning “racist” and “Islamaphobic” in an interview.
White had argued her client should be released under more stringent terms of probation, while condemning Golde’s remarks.
“It allows the discussion on public safety to turn not on what actual facts are, and more on fears and prejudices,” she told Judge Northridge.
White said Ford’s books came from the library of her and her late husband, Dr. Prince White, who was the program and police campaign coordinator for the Urban Peace Movement, a civil rights organization that had worked with Ford in the past.
The judge ultimately held Ford without bail but said her decision wasn’t based on the literature.
“This is an issue of public safety, period,” Northridge said.
Ford’s name may be familiar to readers. The ex-football star at McClymonds High School in West Oakland was arrested when he was 17 in connection with a September 2013 armed robbery at a casual carpool in Rockridge.
Golde told The Chronicle he wasn’t jumping to any conclusions by bringing up the Quran, and he invited the defense to respond to it.
“I brought out everything that was there and the judge made the decision, and the judge made the decision based on public safety,” he said.
Teresa Drenick, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office, said in a statement that Golde simply “recounted the facts to the court” when he mentioned the Quran and the psychology book on terrorism.
“Mr. Golde provided all of the information regarding the items gathered by the police on the night of the arrest, including a sawed-off rifle, two extended clips and ammunition,” Drenick said. “This, taken in conjunction with his prior violent criminal conduct, was what the court considered in determining the bail motion, and whether or not he would pose a safety risk to the public.”
The teen’s case galvanized supporters who argued that he should have been tried as a juvenile rather than an adult. He spent four years in jail awaiting trial before he pleaded no contest, and was released on probation in August 2017.
Ford was arrested again just before 1 a.m. on Oct. 10, after an Emeryville police officer approached him while he was parked at a Denny’s. The officer ran Ford’s license plate and saw that he was on probation, searched the vehicle and allegedly located the sawed-off rifle and two extended clips.
Here’s the gun he was caught with via the East Bay Times.