People of Faith with PICO California, a member of Communities United Coalition, March on the Capitol Demanding Legislation to Track Racial Profiling

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March on the Capitol - Rally for Justice | Wed., Sept 2, 2015 | AB 953 will track racial profiling and help end police brutality on people of color.

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For far too long Black, Indigenous, Latino, and immigrant communities have been unfairly profiled, harassed and killed by law enforcement.

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

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Editor’s Note: Visuals and interviews will be available throughout the day. Nearly 1,000 people marching to the Capitol then rallying for justice.

PICO California is the state’s largest community organizing network. We organize in 73 cities, 15 school districts, and in more than one-half of the state's Senate and Assembly districts. PICO California was established in 1994, bringing together local federations from throughout California to affect meaningful budget and policy change at the state level. Over the past 20 years, our organizing and policy advocacy has resulted in increased investments in education and healthcare, and in programs and services that are critical for working families. Together, we represent 480 congregations and 450,000 families of diverse economic, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds committed to advancing racial and economic justice in California through organizing, advocacy, and voter engagement. Visit http://www.PICOCalifornia.org to learn more.

The Live Free Campaign is a comprehensive violence prevention and mass incarceration campaign led by hundreds of faith congregations throughout the United States. Learn more at http://www.livefreeusa.org/

PICO California and its federations are non-partisan and do not endorse or support candidates for office.

The Communities United Coalition is comprised of the six AB 953 cosponsor organizations: PICO California, ACLU of California, Youth Justice Coalition, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Reform California, and Dignity and Power Now as well as other organizations that also support the bill.

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