LatinoJustice Asks Presidential Candidates How They Will Address Policing
CONTACT: Christiaan Perez, [email protected], 212-739-7581
The following statement was issued by Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF
Presidential politics is not our forté at LatinoJustice. Laws and practices that shield the abuse of the criminal justice system on Latinx communities, are. When you start a national discourse with policing practices and accountability, you start exactly at the place where Latinx communities have yearned for change.
In the context of the presidential campaign and the development of policy platforms for the country’s political parties LatinoJustice welcomes Julián Castro’s recent focus on policing practices as the gateway to a much-needed national debate.
In demanding accountability, transparency and de-escalation when use of force is employed by police, Mr. Castro has joined the chorus of organizers and advocates from California to New York who, for decades, have demanded nothing less. At every turn, we have focused on the elimination of racial profiling, stop & frisk, and broken windows policing. We, too, have been calling for the elimination of 287g federal immigration cooperation agreements with local police as a step towards linking both systems of excessive policing – immigration and law enforcement. These are the very practices that unfairly target Latinx communities and fray the confidence that they would otherwise hold for local police.
Criminal justice, policing and drug policy reform are critical civil rights and public safety issues in the Latinx community. Francisco Serna from California, Ismael Lopez from Mississippi, and Juan Silva from Florida are just some of the names of Latinos in the country who have lost their lives to police use of force – yet are barely mentioned by mainstream media. Their families, like LatinoJustice, would welcome a national conversation on policing practices.