Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

1 Sep, 2015

California Faith Group Organises March Demanding Legislation to Track Racial Profiling

Sacramento, CA (PRWEB) August 31, 2015 – On September 2, 2015, PICO California and the larger Communities United Coalition, community members, and clergy will march on the State Capitol for the Rally for Justice in support of AB 953 (Weber). The country has been reeling from the angst of videotaped acts of aggression and violence by law enforcement against citizens across the nation. While much of the focus has been on Midwestern, East Coast, and Southern states, California holds the ominous record of having more deaths by law enforcement than any other state in the country in 2015.

Alarmingly, the City of Los Angeles has the worst record related to deaths brought about at the hands of their law enforcement agencies. These appalling statistics, according to The Counted, a database that tracks killings by police developed by The Guardian newspaper, tells the sad reality for people of color throughout California who are too often the target of law enforcement and consequently end up fearing the people that should be there to protect them.

AB 953 (authored by California Assembly member Shirley Weber -District 79), which passed out suspense from the Appropriations Committee on August 27, 2015, now heads to the Senate floor for a vote. According to the Communities United Coalition, which is comprised of the six AB 953 cosponsor organization including PICO California, this historic legislation would make the first meaningful steps to identify how pervasive racial profiling is across our state, an epidemic that has led to police brutality and has traumatized communities of color for generations. Police stop Blacks and Latinos at three and two times the rate of whites, respectively according to a report from San Diego Police Department. If passed, AB 953 will modernize and clarify the definition of profiling and finally require data collection on stops by most law enforcement agencies. PICO California, believes properly tracking and reporting out on this data will tell the truth of what people of color have always known: if you are not white, the police are far more likely to stop you simply because of the color of your skin.

Join nearly 1,000 victims and families of victims of police misconduct, faith leaders and congregation members, youth, and other concerned residents from across California as they gather at St. John’s Lutheran Church and then descend on the Capitol for a rally on the South Lawn.

“For far too long Black, Indigenous, Latino, and immigrant communities have been unfairly profiled, harassed, and killed by law enforcement,” said Rev. Ben McBride, Director of Regional Clergy Development for PICO California. “Law enforcement has gone unchecked and the state legislature has failed at protecting those most vulnerable to police misconduct. The passage of AB 953 is just one way state legislators can begin to root out the evil ingrained in the culture of mass criminalization that exists in our state. Black lives matter. People of color matter. We must demand that our elected officials and law enforcement officers do what they are paid to do and that is protect us.”

WHO: Nearly 1,000 police misconduct victims and families of victims, faith leaders and congregation members, youth, and other concerned residents

WHERE: Crowd gathers at St. John’s Lutheran Church (1701 L Street) then marches on the Capitol | Rally on the South Lawn of the State Capitol

WHEN: Wednesday, September 2, 2015

9:30a.m. – Crowd marches from St. John’s Lutheran Church to the Capitol

10:00a.m. – Rally at the Capitol South Lawn

11:15a.m. – Deliver petition of more than 25,000 signatures to state legislators