October 5, 2016
LOS ANGELES — Advancement Project California’s Executive Director John Kim has released the following statement in response to the recent police violence in Southern California:
We at the Advancement Project California stand with all of those – particularly our African American brothers and sisters – who are standing up to demand a new relationship between the police and communities of color. As a multi-racial organization, we stand in solidarity with the Black community because we know that our diversity is our strength and when one of our communities are under attack – we all are.
Once again, the brutal reality of police violence on the Black community has re-emerged here in Southern California. From Alfred Olango in El Cajon, Reginald Thomas in Pasadena, and now to Carnell Snell Jr., and the still-unidentified man who was shot and killed by the LAPD this weekend. There seems to be a quickening of these stories from Ferguson to Minnesota to North Carolina and now here in our backyard.
Each time, the details are different but the underlying dynamics seem to hold—a too quick escalation to lethal force, the manifestation of both implicit biases and the broader impacts of poverty and disinvestment, a widening gap between police and communities of color—all playing out with shocking swiftness in a matter of seconds.
Some may think that California is somehow immune to this national epidemic. We are not. So far this year, 19 Black men have been shot and killed by police in our state. And a recent UC Davis study shows “evidence of significant bias in the killing of unarmed Black Americans [who are] shot by police at 3.5 times the rate of unarmed white Americans.”
As the investigations proceed for these most recent shootings, we demand a thorough and transparent review of the incidents as well as a review of the policies and procedures that lead up to them. We demand real investments in more preventive, community-building supports in these neighborhoods. And we demand a shift towards a more relationship-based, trust-centered approach to public safety over the current pattern of rapid escalation and default to lethal force.
We also urge the city and law enforcement leaders understand that a “typical response” will be insufficient in these volatile conditions. Nearly 25 years after the 1992 L.A. Uprising, the level of distrust and anger in communities of color are again reaching historic levels. So without bold leadership from city leaders, we worry that it will be just a matter of time before the next unrest.
Tags: Alfred Olango, Carnell Snell Jr., Ferguson, implicit bias, LAPD, lethal force, Police violence, unarmed Black Men