California’s Law Enforcement and Local Government Must Be Responsible for the Recent Attacks on Latinx Communities

Letters to the Editor: Latinx communities fighting racism don’t need Martinez, Cedillo and De León

The letter by Katelyn Martinez to the editor, the front-page story by Elizondo and “The Red Line” by Alex de León are troubling and very inaccurate. Martinez and Elizondo fail to recognize the racism and violence by the state against Latinx communities is a long established and consistent pattern.

Martinez and Elizondo also fail to recognize the current state of California political discourse is a product of racist and nationalist forces.

Martinez and Elizondo also fail to recognize that state Assemblymember Julia Salazar (R-Huntington Beach) and State Senatemember Julia Brownley (D-San Leandro) introduced the state legislation that provides California with “a comprehensive state-level civil rights mechanism to hold law enforcement and local government accountable,” in response to the horrific attacks on Latinx communities. The legislation also recognizes that the “decades of racial profiling by state and local law enforcement officials, and their discriminatory interactions with diverse communities” led to the “vicious cycle of violence and discrimination” of Latinx communities that began to break ground years before the horrific recent attacks.

The recent attacks have been a culmination of these many decades of anti-Latino and anti-immigrant racism in the State of California and nationwide. But the recent attacks have given rise to an urgency for policy makers to act, both to hold law enforcement accountable and establish a comprehensive civil rights mechanism to hold state and local policymakers accountable for the decades of racist violence and discrimination against California’s Latinx communities.

A state by state review of California’s law enforcement and local policies to treat Latinx communities as criminals is long overdue. California must adopt a comprehensive civil rights mechanism that is independent and impartial to hold law enforcement and local government accountable. State laws already exist in most states but these laws are not comprehensive.

The Legislature also must establish the state level program of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to coordinate state and local civil rights enforcement. California must have a Department of Justice that is independent of the DOJ.

The DOJ’s Civil Rights Section can coordinate state and local enforcement as needed for the states with comprehensive civil rights enforcement. The DOJ’s Civil Rights Section is already

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