The recent police shootings of a black and Hispanic man in Los Angeles spurred activists, labor and community groups to declare a “state of emergency.”
The groups sent an open letter Thursday, urging Mayor Eric Garcetti and the Los Angeles City Council to hold the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) responsible for the shootings, reports Wave Newspapers.
The letter also calls for discussions on how the LAPD uses disproportionate lethal force against black and Hispanic citizens.
“Time and time again, we see law enforcement exercise restraint when confronting white suspects, while not exercising the same care to avoid the loss of black life,” the letter reads. “When confronting armed and unarmed suspects, officers should use a variety of de-escalation tactics to prevent further loss of life.”
The Community Coalition, Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, Los Angeles Community Action Network, Brotherhood Crusade and SEIU 721 signed the letter.
The groups also called for city leaders to conduct an “open, transparent and independent investigation” into the two latest shootings.
“While the aforementioned demands will help alleviate growing tensions between residents and law enforcement, we believe it is imperative that Los Angeles adopts systemic reforms that eradicate officer-involved killings and police misconduct,” the letter ends.
One police shooting involved Carnell Snell, Jr., who was shot following a car chase Saturday. Police Chief Charlie Beck released footage that shows Snell carrying a gun before police shot him.
The second police shooting occurred Sunday as police responded to a call about a man with a gun. When they went up to him, officers shot the man. (RELATED: BLM Co-Founder Arrested After Protesting Latest Police Shooting)
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