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Can Police Departments Actually “Protect and Serve” Black and Brown Communities?

What: ACLU SoCal Pasadena-Foothills Chapter Public Forum
When: Tuesday, May 12th, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Where: Neighborhood Church, 301 No. Orange Grove Blvd, Pasadena
RSVP: Free on Eventbrite
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Not a week passes these days without news of yet another shooting, beating, tasering, or choking of an unarmed black or brown man by police officers under what are at least suspicious—and sometimes clearly criminal—circumstances.

Do Black Lives Really Matter

Nationally, thanks largely to social media and cellphone cameras, the litany of unarmed black man dead at the hands of police is as heart-rending as it is long: Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Floyd Dent, Freddie Gray…and on and on and on.

Here in Los Angeles, the LAPD is dealing with the fallout from shootings of two unarmed, mentally ill black men—Charly “Africa” Leundeu Keunang and Ezell Ford—which have fueled calls for greater civilian oversight of law enforcement.

Locally, community activists, their legal representatives, and media outlets are embroiled in an effort to bring justice to family members and transparency into the shooting of Kendrec McDade, an unarmed 19-year-old black man killed by Pasadena police officers.

In response, numerous groups have risen up to fight for greater accountability for police departments. The ACLU of Southern California is working with the Californians United for Fair Policing to require police departments to collect and report use-of force-data. And our Pasadena/Foothills Chapter has launched a series of “Know Your Rights” trainings to better equip young black and brown men and women for dealing with police encounters.

At this month’s forum, we have three experts who can help us better understand the dynamics involved in police interactions with black and brown communities, from law enforcement, legal, activist, and victim family perspectives:

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  • Cheryl Dorsey, a retired LAPD sergeant who has emerged as an expert on police conduct issues making national headlines, frequently commenting on CNN, HLN, MSNBC, and KPCC, and author of The Creation of a Manifesto, Black & Blue, a scathing look at LAPD internal processes.
  • Elbie “Skip” Hickambottom, attorney with Gronemeier & Associates, representing the NAACP and the shooting victim’s family in the Kendrec McDade suit, which is seeking release of police records related to the shooting three years ago of an unarmed 19-year-old black man in Pasadena.
  • Khafre Dixon, activist, actor, and brother of two siblings who died in separate and deeply suspicious circumstances while in law enforcement custody. The “Justice for Ahjah” foundation created after his sister’s death seeks the eradication of police and systemic brutality wherever it exists.

Join the discussion to see how together we can put the “Protect and Serve” back into policing.

The event is free and open to the public. For more info, contact Dick Price & Sharon Kyle, ACLU SoCal Pasadena/Foothills Chapter, aclupasadena@yahoo or 213.434.4643.

Cosponsors and Endorsers: ACLU of Southern California • Justice Not Jails • LA Progressive • ACT Pasadena • Pasadena Community Coalition • Youth Justice Coalition • S.T.O.P. Police Violence Martin Luther King Jr. Coalition of Greater Los Angeles • Coalition for Increased Civilian Oversight of Pasadena Police • CLUE Pasadena—More To Come

Do Black Lives Really Matter