Another Los Angeles Police Commission meeting ended abruptly on Tuesday, as dozens of protesters calling for the firing of Police Chief Charlie Beck began calling out the names of police-shooting victims.
Filipinos were among who went inside the police commission hearing and escorted out of the building, and they’re among those outside the headquarters protesting the recent spate of officer involve shooting. Some of the victims’ families joined the massive protest.
“We’re not outside of this issue—this is a Filipino-American issue as well. Number two, this is about state fightings,” asserted Jolene Levid of AF3IRM.
Both in the Philippines and in the Los Angeles, death-by-officer is becoming more and more common, and Filipino-Americans believe it’s an issue that needs to be tackled on both sides of the globe.
“It also makes you wonder, what is the justice system? So is the constitution just there as some sort of a symbol and not something to be enacted? Do people get a trial before they’re executed? Is this a new version of martial law that’s happening in both places? We’re not really sure,” said Levid.
Ever since President Rodrigo Duterte took office two months ago, more than 1,000 suspected drug personalities have been shot dead—some by police, others by vigilantes—and the news and numbers have caught the attention of human rights activists.
When questioned over this tactic, Duterte also questioned the officers involved in shootings in the United States.
For activists, they believe there is one problem in both sides of the world.
“The justice system is there for a reason. Poverty creates a cycle that pushes people into drugs, if that’s the case at all, but nobody should die at the hands of the government, which is not okay on either sides of the Pacific,” said Levid.
“Human rights violations are human rights violations no matter who’s perpetrating them. So do I agree with L.A.P.D? No, that’s why we are protesting. If I were in Manila, and my neighbors would be rounded out, rounded up and shot because we are suspected like holding some shabu, do I think they should be killed? No. They’re both wrong and they’re both misogynist, actually,” she added.
The Los Angeles Police Commission has decided that it will appoint an officer to act as liaison for families whose loved ones are shot during police interactions.