Communities Seek Greater Attention for Police Killings of Latinos

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As Black victims of police violence continue to attract national attention, the equally tragic deaths of Latinx individuals at the hands of the police are often sidelined by the very communities that are most affected by them, reports Gustavo Arelleno in a column for the Los Angeles Times. 67 percent of people fatally shot by Los Angeles police officers since 2018 were Latino, even though they make up about 49 percent of the city’s population. A 2018 report by Washington University in St. Louis found that Latino men were more at risk than any other demographic of being killed by police in gentrifying neighborhoods or neighborhoods with little diversity. The supposed apathy toward these instances by the Latino communities of Los Angeles is connected to the fact that they often forget their role in police brutality: the Los Angeles Police Department, once the domain of racist Southerners and Okies, is now dominated by Latinos who absorbed those attitudes from their predecessors. That intimate relationship makes it easier for Latino communities to look away when police strike and slay Latinos. Latinos proudly and easily assimilate into the American fabric. And part of that process is believing that justice is colorblind, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

This notion comes at a time when, according to the Chicago Sun Times, more than a dozen Latino leaders gathered at the Pilsen Law Center Tuesday to call on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the fatal shooting by a Chicago police officer of 13-year-old Adam Toledo and for new policies to stop future acts of police violence. The group called on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to conduct an investigation into the “circumstances that led to and resulted in” Adam’s death and provided three points the probe should focus on: the DOJ should help “establish clear procedures and policies” outlining when a police officer should engage in a foot pursuit and set rules for disciplining officers who don’t follow those newly outline procedures, should help develop oversight on how police officers interact with children — especially when lethal force is used, and should help establish policies under which an officer can engage in a car chase in densely populated neighborhoods. They also want the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division to determine if Adam’s constitutional rights were violated

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