LULAC Calls for Civil Rights Investigation into Gardena Police Department

July 15, 2015

Washington, D.C. – Today, LULAC National President Roger Rocha issued the following statement regarding the newly released footage showing officers from the Gardena Police Department in California fatally shooting an unarmed Latino man and wounding another.

"Today's released police footage sheds light on an issue that has weighed heavily on the hearts of minority communities around the country. The excessive use of police force and in particular, the unwarranted use of deadly force has diminished the public's faith in law enforcement. In the case of the Gardena Police Department, the young people shot were mistaken for thieves, were unarmed and were in fact attempting to assist in the recovery of stolen property.

Today, LULAC sent a letter to the Department of Justice requesting that the Department launch a civil rights investigation into the shooting death of Mr. Ricardo Diaz Zeferino, the unarmed Latino man who was gunned down by police officers of the Gardena Police Department. In the letter, LULAC also requested from the Department that all findings resulting from the investigation be duly reported to the families of the victims and to the public.

As a civil rights organization, LULAC champions policies that help improve conditions for Latinos–including the right to live without fear of the police."

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.lulac.org.

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