African Americans and Latinos joined together to explore solutions to police brutality and police abuse--issues they say, are far too common in their communities.
They held a forum Tuesday in Valencia Park to share what they call their “stories of trauma” and also to talk about what can be done if they work together.
The forum, called "Black and Brown Building Unity Through Resistance" was hosted by Alliance San Diego and American Friends Service Committee.
“The main thing here is bringing black and brown communities together because we're facing the same issue when it comes to law enforcement and public safety system,” said Bishop Cornelius Bowser from the Charity Apostolic Church in Memorial Park.
Those who gathered spoke about Alfred Olango and Anastacio Hernandez Rojas.
Olango, an African American man, was shot by police in El Cajon last September after police said he pointed what appeared to be a gun at officers.
Rojas died in May, 2010, in the custody of Border Patrol agents while attempting to illegally cross the border. Seven years later, the U.S government paid the family $1 million in a settlement.
“Especially in a time when there’s a big conversation in our country about policing and police brutality, it’s time for us to share our testimonies of pain,” said Christian Ramirez from San Diego Alliance. "But also figure out how to get policies to move us forward that ensure public safety for all.”
According to Alliance San Diego, their "mission is to provide a means for diverse individuals and organizations to share information, collaborate on issues and mobilize for change in the pursuit of social justice, especially in low-income communities and communities of color."
American Friends Service Committee San Diego aims to bring "the voices and concerns of immigrant communities into policy debates at the local, state, and national level."