Fil-ams question role of police amid fatal officer-involved shootings

SAN FRANCISCO – Louisiana native Terry Valen and Minnesota native Mario de Mira of the Filipino Community Center in San Francisco say that the recent deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of police hits close to home.

These Fil-Ams say that while the news may be shocking it is also not surprising given that they remember growing up witnessing instances of prejudice by the police in those areas.

“Communities are seeing this every day,” said Valen. “Now it’s on social media so it gets blasted around the world. It’s graphic but it’s been graphic. It’s not any less violent today.”

“This is a human rights issue,” adds de Mira. “We’re quick to judge other countries for their human rights records but in the US we don’t look at our own facts. In 2016 alone, over 500 unarmed black men have been murdered by the police. The other statistic that every 28 hours an unarmed black man is killed by the police.”

These Fil-Ams say that the justice system has and will continue to fail the public it serves which fuels calls for accountability and ongoing community mistrust of the police.

“In any of these situations there has to be due process,” said de Mira. “There should be thorough investigations and charges should be brought up and there should be trials. But the problem is that the community has been calling for these things with all of these situations but it is so rare that there is actually a grand jury, indictment, or real results.”

De Mira and Valen encourage other kababyans to be more aware of the issues that other communities of color are facing at the hands of law enforcement.

“What’s being questioned right now is the whole role and function of police in this country,” said Valen. “It’s part of a larger systemic problem of criminalization, mass incarceration, deportation and detention of immigrants. There’s an industry right now around these kinds of things. So the police are part of this system of control of communities and so its role and function fundamentally needs to change.”

“As a community of Filipinos we need to look further and really understand and reflect on our own experiencers where we can make those connections in solidarity,” said de Mira.

These Fil-Ams say they will continue to march in solidarity with the black lives matter movement while educating the community on issues of government injustice.

One Comment

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  • Santiago Del Mundo
    10 July 2016 at 6:22 am - Reply

    We’re all Fil-Ams here, but I don’t understand is that a lot of us start talking in front of the camera, look like we know it all but actually dumber than the squirrel… In these day and age, we are quickly driven by selfish, self righteous, sensationalized and biased -cheap YouTube clips….did I missed anything? If you have to hear from the news, let’s find atleast three non-biased sources such as Fox40, ABC News….oh well, CNN, just to see the differences in information.
    The problem is that these Fil-Ams are always crying at the media for the very wrong reasons. If that’s what you want to be, you better find some facts not from YouTube or just a blog, kind of shallow and cheap isn’t it folks? If you have not studied criminality, how could you start bitching and whining about it? You see, most people that does that are usually the frequent flyers, you know… So, if you fight the cops…talking loud, instigating stance, throwing finger-hand gestures, closing the gap, not listening to repetitive orders, instructions, questions BUT yourself, start shoving-pushing-spitting-Cushing-talking down, shouting racial slurs at the cops only proves the kind of person are you! Now that the court did not rule in your favor, it has to be the cops fault? So we want grand jury indictment or real results? It all depends on the type of crime, jurisdiction and the court that presides over it? Court base it’s decision on facts and circumstances relevant to what happened. Not because of what’s on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Joe Smokattely’s Blog, etc… Just because you’re marching in solidarity with a group does not mean you are always right???