The DC Latino Caucus condemns the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, and we stand arm-in-arm with all who are protesting police brutality. George Floyd is only the latest person on a long list of tragic incidents involving law enforcement aggression, intimidation, brutality, and murder against innocent Black and Brown people.
This must stop now.
As protests have spread to all corners of the country including Washington DC, many good people from all walks of life have come together to exercise their First Amendment right to protest the systemic racism that endures in our society. They have been met with tear gas, aggressive helicopters, and police responses intended to incite fear and to round up protesters like animals.
We specifically demand the following actions from DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, the DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and the DC City Council:
1) There must be immediate investigations into aggressive DC National Guard actions against peaceful protesters, including use of helicopters to cause downdrafts intended to incite fear, and use of unidentified federal police officers or troops.
2) There must be immediate, public and transparent investigations into the use of "kettling" by MPD to round up peaceful individuals for purposes of intimidation or arrest.
3) The DC City Council must pass legislation to increase transparency, accountability, and oversight over MPD.
4) MPD must immediately ban the use of techniques that disproportionately harm or target communities of color including racial profiling and "stop and frisk."
5) Activists from communities of color must immediately obtain a seat at the table with MPD, and with police oversight activities, so that they can be essential stakeholders in promoting racial sensitivity training and ensuring proper discipline for police misconduct.
The DC Latino Caucus stands with Black Lives Matter (BLM) DC, Stop Police Terror Project (SPTP) DC, and other groups that have helped organize peaceful protests. We encourage our members and the wider community to support these local organizations by subscribing to them, following their social media, and donating to them.
If you choose to join peaceful protests, please stay safe and follow ongoing COVID-19 guidance for social distancing and use of masks.