Nannette Diaz Barragán & Maxine Waters
Editor’s Note: Congresswomen Nanette Diaz Barragán and Maxine Waters released the following joint statement about the shooting death of Andres Guardado on June 18th by a Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy in Gardena:
Dear Attorney General Becerra: We are requesting that you utilize the full resources of your office to conduct a thorough and transparent investigation into the shooting death of 18-year-old Andres Guardado. Guardado was reportedly shot in the back by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Deputy near Gardena, CA on the evening of Thursday, June 18.
The Guardado family, Brown and Black communities in our districts, and the people of Los Angeles must be able to trust in our justice system and have faith that there is accountability when laws have been broken – no matter who breaks the law.
There are conflicting statements about the events of that evening that led to Guardado’s shooting death. However, we already know that none of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies who were at the scene of the incident that evening were wearing body cameras. We also know that Guardado was shot and killed by a Los Angeles County deputy after a short foot chase. While there are still many facts we do not know – what is certain is that the public does not trust that a full and fair investigation can be conducted by the agency involved.
The public must trust that there will be a full and fair accounting of the events that evening. Black and Brown communities in our districts – and throughout Los Angeles – must be assured that the deputies involved that night will be subject to the same investigative scrutiny faced by an average citizen in a similar circumstance. There cannot be one system and set of rules for those who have either the money or power to make the rules and a separate and unequal system for everyone else. Equal justice requires that no individual is treated differently under the law – at any stage.
The protests and calls for justice in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis have led to quick action at the state and local level. This past Wednesday [June 17], the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary went late into the night to mark-up and pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. This week the full House will take up this historic legislation that will make real and lasting reforms and address systemic racial inequities in policing.
While we continue the hard work towards reform and equal justice, we realize that we are still faced with the stark reality that the conditions that have led to nationwide protests and calls for action will not be remedied overnight. Brown and Black men and women are still routinely being engaged by some in law enforcement who look to violently escalate situations – leaving their victims beaten, bruised, or in the worst case shot and killed. This past Thursday (June 18), it resulted in the loss of a young man in South Los Angeles.
The Guardado family, Brown and Black communities in our districts, and the people of Los Angeles must be able to trust in our justice system and have faith that there is accountability when laws have been broken – no matter who breaks the law. In this situation, we feel the only way that is possible is for your office to conduct a full and fair investigation into the shooting death of Andres Guardado.
Congresswoman Nannette Diaz Barragán represents California’s 44th District. Congresswoman Maxine Waters represents California’s 43rd District.
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