Voto Latino Appalled at Police Response to Protests Across the Country

Washington, DC – Across the United States, protests have coalesced around the murder of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers. These protests, born out of years of anger over the continuous killing of black people by law enforcement and the complete disregard from the political establishment, are entirely justified. 

Voto Latino participated in President Obama’s 21st Century Policing Taskforce, which was formed in the wake of the killing of Eric Garner and the protests in Ferguson, MI. The taskforce informed the creation of a community policing unit at the Department of Justice. The program sought to change the culture of brutality amongst law enforcement and instead build bridges among the community. The Trump administration took down the report and recommendations, that included de-escalation training for police officers.

The people taking to the streets are tired, frustrated and outraged that, in 21st century America, systemic racism has not been conquered and too many of our fellow Americans are taken away from us in the name of law and order.

“I am disgusted at what I’ve seen coming from our nation’s law enforcement agents,” said María Teresa Kumar, president and CEO of Voto Latino. “Attacking unarmed and peaceful protestors with deadly force is reprehensible. The targeting of journalists covering these protests is highly disconcerting, signaling a new development in the history of American protest. Violence towards journalists is often seen under authoritarian governments. Do not let it be confused that this is a direct result of Donald Trump’s nonstop attacks on the media, beginning early on with his treatment of Jorge Ramos.

“Voto Latino participated in President Obama’s 21st Century Policing Taskforce, which informed the creation of a community policing unit at the Department of Justice. The program sought to change the culture of brutality amongst law enforcement and instead build bridges among the community. Trump’s DOJ gutted the program. It begs the question: had these four police officers received the training, would George Floyd be alive today?” 

Voto Latino emphatically expresses solidarity with the Black community. We will do whatever we can to support our neighbors, community members, and friends. No one should be forced to fear for their life because of the color of their skin. To put it simply: Black lives matter.