IMMEDIATE RELEASE


LATINO CIVIC ALLIANCE OPPOSES PRESIDENT TRUMP'S Announcement to Build a Wall at U.S.-Mexico Border, Increase Detention and Deportation Forces, and Target Muslims.

Olympia WA - 1/31/2017  "President Trump's recent executive actions have demonstrated that his Administration is hostile to the vast majority of immigrants, including Latinos and those from countries with large Muslim populations.  We are confident that these policies will be exposed for what they are: unconstitutional attempts to treat a category of people differently simply because of their race, religion, or national origin.

President Trump’s order calling for the "immediate construction of a physical wall on the southern border” is unreasonable and financially irresponsible.  Of course Mexico—a country where President Trump enjoys a 3% approval rating—will never agree to pay for this, which means the American taxpayer, will be left carrying the tab.  And putting tariffs on imports from Mexico won’t change that reality, all it will do is increase prices in the United States—meaning American taxpayers will be hit twice: once to pay for the wall, and again when purchasing products whose prices will be artificially inflated by Trump’s misguided policies.  Making matters worse, President Trump also wants taxpayers to finance another 10,000 agents to police the border with Mexico and communities nationwide—even though the past six years have seen a net loss of migration from Mexico.  Doubling immigration agents is Trump’s version of a bridge to nowhere.

On top of all this, the President recently ordered that refugees and immigrants from certain Muslim-majority countries cannot re-enter the United States unless they are granted an individual waiver.  With the stroke of a pen, he has denied re-entry to individuals who have been living and working in America for decades, but who happen to have a green card and come from a country the Administration considers unworthy of equal treatment; and for others, he has denied hope to refugees fleeing conflict and violence, and who earned a spot in our country after a long and arduous vetting process. This is wrong. It is not American.

We must not repeat what took place in World War II, on February 19, 1942, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, granting the U.S. military the power to ban tens of thousands of American citizens of Japanese ancestry from areas deemed critical to domestic security. The U.S. detained Japanese from Washington State to southern Arizona, and hastily set up internment camps to hold the Japanese Americans for the duration of the war. President Trump is calling for new detention centers to be built along the border and house thousands of immigrants many that should not be detained destroying families and leaving young children without their parents.  This only serves one purpose to use our federal tax dollars and make companies like The GEO Corporation richer; for profit developer that will receive the U.S. contracts to build and manage these detention centers. But closer to home, if these policies are enacted, Washington State stands to suffer greatly.

Washington’s economy is thriving, in large part because it boasts strong business, technology, and agricultural industries.  But the key to those industries’ success—and to our State’s economy as a whole—is strong work forces, many of whom are immigrants themselves, or come from immigrant families.  Washington State has 900,000 immigrants, accounting for one out of every 7 residents in the state.  Trump’s policies, if enacted, represent a dire threat to the strong and dynamic economy we have worked so hard to build. Fifteen percent of all business owners in this state are foreign born, contributing $2.4 billion to the state economy.  Based on the Immigration Policy Institute's report, "Latinos and Asians (both foreign-born and native-born) wield $44.7 billion in consumer purchasing power, and the businesses they own had sales and receipts of $22 billion and employed more than 94,000 people at last count." It is clear that not unlike the nation, the state of Washington and its economy benefit greatly from the global labor force.  Threatening the workforce with haphazardly constructed policies, driven by fear and prejudice, rather than reason and evidence, will result in unpredictability and uncertainty—two factors that can poison an otherwise healthy economy.

Fortunately, we are not powerless.  Our Governor, Attorney General, State Legislature and our U.S Congress Members need to hear from you. Ask them to protect our hard working families and our hard earned economic prosperity.  Ask them to not burden our local law enforcement officers to act as immigration officers. Ask them to stand up for our shared values.  Ask them to fight for what we believe in: a Diverse, inclusive and safe America. Now more than ever we must not abandon the ideals that make United States an inclusive country.  We do not need a divided country but a united country that will protect our civil liberties and future generations." 

LCA Board of Directors:  Nina Martinez, LCA Chair, Claudia D'Allegri Vice Chair, Mateo Arteaga Treasurer, Sandra Rodarte Board Secretary, Jimmy Matta, Gabriel Portugal, Ruvine Jimenez, Gabriel Pinon, Larry Sanchez, Enrique Lopez, Chris Paredes

LET YOUR VOICES BE HEARD, please contact your representatives:

CONTACT GOVERNOR INSLEE    http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/contact/contact-gov-inslee

CONTACT STATE LEGISLATOR http://app.leg.wa.gov/districtfinder/

CONTACT U.S. CONGRESS REPRESENTATIVE  http://www.house.gov/

Contact Attorney General Ferguson  http://www.atg.wa.gov/

MEDIA INQUIRIES: CONTACT LCA: Sandra Rodarte

 509.985.6814 or media@latinocivicalliance.org


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For Immediate Release 12.10.2016 - Pasco WA
Community Visioning Project of Washington to bring Pasco and
Tri Cities community together in 2nd series forum

Guest Speaker Panelists: Pasco City Council -Chi Flores, Pasco Police Chief -Bob Metzger, President Columbia Basin College -Dr. Richard Cummins, DSHS Assistant Secretary Behavorial Health -Carla Reyes to speak at December 10th forum.


Pasco WA, 12.10.2016. Community Visioning Project of Washington State, a public participatory community forum series, hosted by state-wide advocacy organization Latino Civic Alliance (LCA), will host its 2nd community public event series to be held on December 10, 2016 in Pasco WA. Guest Speakers will be Washington State DSHS Assistant Secretary- Carla Reyes, Pasco Police Chief- Bob Metzger, Pasco City Council Member-  Chi Flores, Columbia Basin College President - Dr. Richard Cummins. 
FORUM SERIES 2 
Saturday, December 10, 2016   
1pm to 5pm
City of Pasco Parks and Recreation - Gymnasium
525 N. Third Ave, Pasco WA 99301  * FREE EVENT * Spanish Interpretation   
What is being said:
         
      "We are inviting Pasco residents and surrounding areas to join us. We have created a platform to better understand the plans of the Pasco Police Department to continue their efforts to build positive relationships with the community. Also, the Washington State’s plan to improve the mental health system on the state level and how it impacts local providers, the role Pasco City Council plays to oversee city government and the benefits of post-secondary education to the local economy. What is critical is how we participate; engage with one another to help create the solutions because authentic partnership binds a community together. We hope our visioning project will support the local efforts already in place and enhance it" - Nina Martinez, LCA Chair, Forum Facilitator
    
     "My main responsibilities are to set the overall directions and goals for the city and then monitor their implementation and success. To ensure the safety and well being of the community by listening to our citizen and addressing concerns. To lead the city in the right direction for the good of all citizens. " Chi Flores, Pasco City Council
       "I look forward to meeting with community members and discussing our community policing strategies." - Pasco Police Chief Bob Metzger
 
      "Having access to good quality mental health is vital because people often times don't have the skills needed to handle their crisis in moments of desperation. The individual needs are unique and differ in times of an emergency. Some people need help developing coping skills, need intensive inpatient treatment, intensive outpatient support services or to see a therapist weekly. We need a mental health system that is easy to understand, proactive and responsive to the needs of the community." - Sergio Castaneda, LCA Board Member, Tri-Cities
The visioning project asks residents, law enforcement, city and county officials, business owners, educators, healthcare professionals, religious leaders and community members to express their ideas and opinions on how to create safe and healthy communities. Community members will be selected to participate in leadership development training academy scheduled for January 14, 2017 to further the visioning project outcomes

Community Visioning Project of Washington goals include:

Improve relations between law enforcement and the community
Motivate all stakeholders to vote
Fully participate in city and county advisory efforts
Improve access to public services: education, mental and physical health, familiarity with judicial processes
Aim to create a stronger community infrastructure that is transparent, respectful, collaborative, action and solution focused.



Media inquiries or more info:
Gabriel Portugal
media@latinocivicalliance.org
509.420.0596         
 
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More about the Community Visioning Project of Washington: A community leadership development & engagement project created by LCA that encourages collaborative and inclusive dialogue that will represent the entire community, collection of information & resources shared within the Community Visioning Project statewide. * Anyone interested for more information and or to volunteer please send inquiry to: info@latinocivicalliance.org. Latino Civic Alliance (LCA) is statewide non partisan civic engagement, advocacy organization in Washington.  To learn more visit us at www.latinocivicalliance.org







Community Visioning Project of Washington to bring Pasco community together in series forums

City of Pasco City Manager and Franklin County Auditor to attend on October 29th forum.

Pasco WA, 10.06.2016-  Community Visioning Project of Washington State, a public participatory community process series, hosted by state-wide advocacy organization Latino Civic Alliance (LCA), will host a free two-part community public event series to be held on October 29, 2016 and December 10, 2016. Community members will be selected from the initial two forums to participate in leadership development training scheduled for January 14, 2017 to further the visioning project outcomes.  The visioning project asks residents, law enforcement, city and county officials, business owners, educators, healthcare professionals, religious leaders and community members to express their ideas and opinions on how to create safe and healthy communities.

Visioning Project goals include:
•    Improve relations between law enforcement and the community
•    Motivate all stakeholders to vote
•    Fully participate in city and county advisory efforts
•    Improve access to public services: education, mental and physical health, familiarity with judicial processes
•    Aim to create a stronger community infrastructure that is transparent, respectful, collaborative, action and solution focused.
Strategic community vision plans unique to each city will be created by diverse group community members with public officials and will receive technical support by LCA and its advisors to support its success.
 
                          Pasco, WA Series Dates:
SERIES 1
Saturday, October 29, 2016
1pm to 5pm
Pasco Senior Center
1315 N. 7th Ave Pasco WA  99301

SERIES 2
Saturday, December 10, 2016    
1pm to 5pm
City of Pasco Parks and Recreation - Gymnasium
525 N. Third Ave, Pasco WA 99301
     "We are noticing similar barriers and challenges between communities, law enforcement and public officials to work together throughout our State.  We believe that until we can be transparent and develop skills to effectively work together toward shared goals, regardless of difference of outlook or opinion, this will not improve. We see an opportunity to create unifying foundations in communities based on mutual respect, shared values, understanding and equal representation of all members in the community.  We believe that we ARE better together.- Nina Martinez, LCA Chair  

      "The Community Vision Project of Washington is offering members of the community in Pasco a historic opportunity to work together in building trust and nurture legitimacy on both sides, our police department and our community. We believe enjoyment of safe and healthy neighborhoods, and cities is a human right for everyone.  Nurturing legitimacy of our police department and building trust among folks in our community is the foundation principal underlying the nature of the Community Visioning Project." - Gabriel Portugal, LCA Board, Retired Principal, Pasco WA
       "The legitimate expectation of inclusion, in responsibilities, rights and respect of every member in our community is important.  When we perpetuate a situation, or allow others to create a situation, where any group feels excluded or fearful, we reduce a sense of community which is directly contrary to our own peace and security." - Marilyn Brenneman, Retired King County Prosecutor, LCA Advisory Partner
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Latino Civic Alliance (LCA) is statewide non partisan civic engagement organization in Washington.  To learn more visit us at www.latinocivicalliance.org


More about the Community Visioning Project of Washington: A community engagement project created by LCA that encourages collaborative and inclusive dialogue that will represent the entire community, collection of data shared within the Community Vision Project statewide network, along with the creation of a local and diverse leadership team that will be selected to continue the work of the local community visioning plan towards ensuring  success.  Strategic community vision plans are unique to each city and will be created by a diverse group of community members, along with public officials and will receive technical support by LCA and its advisors to support its success.  The LCA advisory council supporting the project consists of Retired Prosecutor, Retired Judge, Active and Retired Police Officers, Educators, Business Leaders, Community Advocates, Healthcare Professionals that add significant value to the project.  The community visioning engagement program will include innovative models practiced in the U.S. and internationally. * Anyone interested for more information and or to volunteer please send inquiry to: info@latinocivicalliance.org.






LATINO CIVIC ALLIANCE NEWS RELEASE


Community Policing Forums set for Pasco WA, NEW DATE for Moses Lake WA


Olympia WA August 24, 2016 - The forums and project named "Community Vision Project of Washington" is a public participatory process in which stakeholders develop a consensus on community policing and what a desirable community will look like.  The project will foster opportunity for residents, law enforcement, city officials, business owners, educators, healthcare professionals, religious leaders and community members to express their ideas and opinions on how to create safe and healthy communities. Strategic community vision plans will be created by community members and will receive technical support by LCA and its advisors to support its success.  The LCA advisory council supporting the  community consists of Retired Prosecutor, Retired Judge, Active and Retired Police Officers, Educators, Business Leaders, Community Advocates, Healthcare Professionals will add significant value to the project       
      
    "We are noticing similar barriers and challenges that exist between the community and law enforcement in our State.  We believe that until we can be transparent, work together regardless of difference of opinions this will not improve. We see a valuable opportunity on a local grassroots level to create the foundation based on mutual respect, understanding, equal representation of all members in the community and shared values. Each city project will be unique for example the one scheduled for Pasco WA will include a stakeholder review of the reports from the U.S. Justice Department, ACLU and the Coroner Inquest findings in relation to the death of Antonio Zambrano Montes.  All city based projects will include evaluation of local government funding, access to mental health services, judicial processes and create a community infrastructure that is action and solution focused. We see this advocacy effort as a viable long term commitment and we are ready to get to work"  - Nina Martinez, LCA Chair     
   
   "The legitimate expectation of inclusion, in responsibilities, rights and respect of every member in our community is important.  When we perpetuate a situation, or allow others to create a situation, where any group feels excluded or fearful, we reduce a sense of community which is directly contrary to our own peace and security." - Marilyn Brenneman, Retired King County Prosecutor, LCA Advisory Partner    

Moses Lake WA
DATE: Saturday, October 1, 2016 1p.m to 5p.m.
Location: Family Services of Grant County
1402 E Craig, Moses Lake, WA 98837  

Pasco WA
DATE: Saturday, October 29, 2016 1p.m to 5p.m
Location: Pasco Senior Center
1315 N. 7th Ave Pasco WA  99301  

More about the Community Visioning Project of Washington: A project created by LCA that encourages collaborative and inclusive dialogue that will represent the entire community, collection of data shared within the Community Vision Project network statewide and creation of a local diverse leadership team that are elected by the residents to lead the local community visioning plan to ensure its success.  The community vision engagement program will include innovative models practiced in the U.S. and internationally. Additional information will be available on LCA website in the coming weeks. This a free event.
* Anyone interested for more information and or to volunteer please send inquiry to info@latinocivicalliance.org.  More details of the project and forum are being finalized and located on LCA website in coming weeks.
*Spanish interpretation will be available


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To learn about advisory council members: Marilyn Brenneman, Larry McKeeman, Matt Hickmann:

http://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0LEVzhw84JXfgYABq1XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyaW1ndGVxBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDVUkyQzJfMQRzZWMDc3I-/RV=2/RE=1468228593/RO=10/RU=http%3a%2f%2fwww.seattletimes.com%2fseattle-news%2fafter-30-years-tackling-tough-cases-marilyn-brenneman-leaving-prosecutors-office%2f/RK=0/RS=Xa6hNwBfcZCMVKnKG6I55tr6xxM-
http://archive.heraldnet.com/article/20120810/NEWS01/708109879
http://law.seattleu.edu/faculty/profiles/adjunct/matthew-hickman




About Latino Civic Alliance


Latino Civic Alliance (LCA) is a statewide nonpartisan organization with thousands of supporters that promotes civic engagement in Washington State by encouraging social responsibility and public service. LCA promotes community and state based advocacy for Latino/as.  We collaborate with the community to improve the public good on the local, state and national level while enriching the community. LCA seeks to foster opportunities for meaningful and reciprocal relationships between political representation and the community.  LCA hosts the largest political platform “Latino Legislative Day" in Washington State. LCA Board Members represent Tri- Cities (Pasco, Kennewick, Richland), Yakima, Mount Vernon, Seattle, Everett, Burien and other regions in the State. 

Media Contact or more information:
Name: Jimmy Matta
Email: info@latinocivicalliance.org
https://latinocivicalliance.org









LATINO CIVIC ALLIANCE NEWS RELEASE


Community Policing Forums planned for selected cities statewide

Seattle WA 7.11.2016 -  Latino Civic Alliance forms an advisory board to host community forums statewide to help address the relations between law enforcement agencies, local government and communities. The advisory board consists of subject experts that have volunteered to join LCA and create a community policing engagement model where the Community, Police and Local Government can develop a cohesive partnership to promote proactive problem solving and solution focused initiatives.  Advisory members confirmed: Marilyn Brenneman - retired King County Prosecutor, Larry McKeeman - retired WA Superior Court Judge, Sharon Ortiz - Executive Director of WA Commission Human Rights, Larry Sanchez - Retired Sheriff's Deputy Moses Lake WA, Matt Hickmann - Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at Seattle University and additional advisory members specializing in healthcare, mental health, business are being vetted. 

The LCA and advisory council members will be meeting with local community members statewide to help identify the cities that will host the series of community policing forums. The first forum will be held in Moses Lake, WA.  The forums named "Community Vision Project of Washington" is a public participatory process in which stakeholders develop a consensus on what a desirable community will look like based on agreed community values.  The forums will foster opportunity for all residents, law enforcement, city officials, business owners, educators, healthcare professionals, religious leaders and community members to express their ideas and opinions on how to create safe and healthy communities.   

   "We are noticing similar barriers and challenges that exist between the community and law enforcement in eastern and western WA.  We believe that until we can be transparent and work together this will not improve. We see the opportunity on a local grassroots level to create the foundation based on mutual respect, understanding, equal representation of all members in the community and shared values. Our advisory council will add significant value to the conversations we will have within the communities. The community will decide what their vision plan is with the ongoing support of LCA and our partners. We see this advocacy effort as a viable long term commitment and we are ready to get to work"  - Nina Martinez, LCA Chair

   "The legitimate expectation of inclusion, in responsibilities, rights and respect of every member in our community is important.  When we perpetuate a situation, or allow others to create a situation, where any group feels excluded or fearful, we reduce a sense of community which is directly contrary to our own peace and security." - Marilyn Brenneman, Retired King County Prosecutor

   "I am hopeful we can use my training and abilities having served  law enforcement and communities so we can have better understanding and relations" - Larry Sanchez, Retired Sheriff's Deputy/LCA Board- Grant County, Moses Lake WA

   "I am very happy to return to my hometown and contribute back to my community to help bridge cultural language and differences.  I believe its achievable only when we all take ownership in our actions. We all have our place in our community to make it flourish and vibrant for our children's future" - Jimmy Matta, LCA Board Member - originally from Ephrata WA

A collaborative and inclusive dialogue will occur that  will represent the entire community, collection of data shared within the Community Vision Project network statewide and creation of a local diverse leadership team that are elected by the residents to lead the local community visioning plan to ensure its success.  The community vision engagement program is expected to be designed and completed within the next 8 weeks.  The pilot program will include innovative models practiced in the US and internationally.

Public Forum details:
WHEN: Saturday, September 10, 2016
1p.m to 5p.m.
Location: Family Services of Grant County
1402 E Craig,
Moses Lake, WA 98837



To learn about advisory council members: Marilyn Brenneman, Larry McKeeman, Matt Hickmann:

http://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=A0LEVzhw84JXfgYABq1XNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTEyaW1ndGVxBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDVUkyQzJfMQRzZWMDc3I-/RV=2/RE=1468228593/RO=10/RU=http%3a%2f%2fwww.seattletimes.com%2fseattle-news%2fafter-30-years-tackling-tough-cases-marilyn-brenneman-leaving-prosecutors-office%2f/RK=0/RS=Xa6hNwBfcZCMVKnKG6I55tr6xxM-
http://archive.heraldnet.com/article/20120810/NEWS01/708109879
http://law.seattleu.edu/faculty/profiles/adjunct/matthew-hickman

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LCA Board of Directors meets with WA Attorney General to advocate for improved mental health services
Olympia, WA Released 6.27.2016








Left to right: WA Attorney General Bob Ferguson, Nina Martinez LCA Chairwoman; Jimmy Matta, LCA Board Member

Olympia WA. 6.27.2016 -  The Latino Civic Alliance (LCA) met with Attorney General Ferguson to advocate and share their concerns for the lack of mental health services in communities statewide.   All Washingtonians deserve to have immediate access to adequate mental health and substance abuse services. LCA advocates for Washington State Department of Health to adopt a "One Stop Shop" statewide as demonstrated in Bexar County, Texas which provides integrated mental health care services that includes Crisis Care Center 24/7, Detox Center, Medical Care Clinic, substance abuse treatment, veteran support services, jail diversion and supportive programs for housing and additional needed services. Suicide rates in Washington are higher than national average.



"We appreciate the substantive conversation we had with Attorney General Bob Ferguson and for his past and continued leadership on issues of mental health.  We look forward to working with his office on these issues in the future." - Nina Martinez, LCA Chair


LCA recognizes how challenging it can be when stakeholders seeking treatment under mental and physical distress are unable to get an evaluation and services all in one place. It places a heavy burden on the person seeking help, their family members, the law enforcement officers that are called upon to intervene and judicial system. We have heard the tragic personal life experiences of many community members suffering with mental illness and not having access to treatment.   We have a crisis in our State that we are well aware of and it’s time to create viable solutions, provide the existing service providers the resources they need and most importantly hold any mental health authority accountable if they fail to provide the needed services.  Implementing this integrated healthcare program statewide will improve lives, consolidate programs and financial resources.  We believe this proposal will be beneficial to everyone and this “One Stop Shop” program is worth advocating for and it is time for Washington State to work together so we can better serve our communities.          
   
To learn more about integrative mental health services visit:
Virtual Tour of The CHCS Restoration Center in Bexar County:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FD_wv49tO1Q&feature=share



Response to U.S. Attorney Office of Eastern WA to not charge police officers in the death of Mr. Zambrano-Montes

Pasco, WA 6.21.2016


The Latino Civic Alliance (LCA) firmly disagrees with the U.S. Attorney Michael Ormsby in the Eastern District of Washington decision to not file charges against former police officer Ryan Flanagan, police officers Adam Wright and Adrian Alaniz.  The evidence from the videos and witnesses is clear that the officers chose to kill Mr. Antonio Zambrano-Montes on February 10, 2015.  


We believe that criminal and civil rights laws were violated and police misconduct occurred when Mr. Zambrano-Montes was shot 17 times and killed by officers after appearing to be surrendering. Furthermore, we believe innocent bystanders were unnecessarily put at risk of injury, violating their civil rights.   A primary purpose of the nation's civil rights laws is to protect citizens from abuses by government, including police misconduct. A statute known as Section 1983 is the primary civil rights law victims of police misconduct rely upon. This law was originally passed as part of the Civil Rights Act of 1871, which was intended to curb oppressive conduct by government and private individuals participating in vigilante groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan. It is now called Section 1983 because that is where the law has been published, within Title 42, of the United States Code. Section 1983 makes it unlawful for anyone acting under the authority of state law to deprive another person of his or her rights under the Constitution or federal law. The most common claims brought against police officers are false arrest (or false imprisonment), malicious prosecution, and use of excessive or unreasonable force.  


The decision by the U.S. Department of Justice to not charge the officers for the execution of Zambrano-Montes is indicative of the lack of trust they have created nationwide. The U.S. Justice Department nationally has demonstrated the complexity to report civil or criminal violations.  They do not have a clear guideline in place to properly inform the public when police officers are being investigated or hold police officers accountable or indict police officers for misconduct, excessive use of force or deadly force and this has damaged the reputation of the United States Justice Department. According to the U.S.  Bureau of Justice Statistics shows that the conviction rate for members of the general public who were tried on criminal charges ranged around 68% from 2002 through 2006; while data collected from the National Police Misconduct Reporting Project, shows that during the period of April 2009 to December 2010 the conviction rate for law enforcement officers was closer to 39%.


Furthermore, data from the National Police Misconduct Reporting Project shows that “for the 426 law enforcement officers who were accused of using excessive force in incidents where a fatality occurred, only 28 faced charges and half of those who were prosecuted ended up being convicted. This would appear to indicate that there are disparities on a national scale between how law enforcement officers are treated in the criminal justice system compared to the general public.   According to the National Police Misconduct Reporting Project, Washington State ranks number two in the five states with the lowest prosecution rates for law enforcement officers in the United States. Washington State also ranks number two among the five states with the worst law enforcement conviction rates for law enforcement.  


Earlier this year, U.S. Attorney Michael Ormsby met with LCA, one of the largest state advocacy groups in WA and was asked specifically to deliver the statute that the civil rights case would be determined in the Zambrano Montes case. Although he promised to provide this information, he never delivered.   The decision to not file charges was made by the U.S. Attorney's office behind closed doors and poor choice to base their decision on the Tri-Cities/Washington State Patrol Special Investigation Unit findings instead of using independent resources outside of the area. Public officials representing the police department in the surrounding areas have been openly opposed to an inquisition and have stated their bias towards the culpability of their police officers. The lack of use of impartial resources and biased personnel ultimately led to the decision announced today.  


Finally, LCA questions U.S. Attorney Ormsby lack of understanding to the series of nationwide events calling for new measures to hold police officers accountable. We also question the leadership that provided oversight to U.S. Attorney Ormsby investigating the Zambrano-Montes case. We need our U.S. Justice Department to be transparent, protect us all and ensure that anyone that violates our constitutional rights is held accountable. In the case of Mr. Zambrano Montes, it appears they applied their exhaustive efforts to protect the criminal behavior of the police officers involved.  LCA believes reform is direly needed and will not look away when injustice occurs. We will continue to advocate on a local, state and national level that when police officers exercise excessive use of deadly force that they will be held accountable and removed from serving the public.  This also applies to the investigative authorities including the U.S. Justice Department that investigates police officers when misconduct is demonstrated.  To all the law enforcement officers that put their lives at risk, respect the community that they serve to protect, we thank you. To those that violate their position and abuse this privilege, we ask that you keep in mind that human dignity is afforded to all and justice will prevail.  


LCA Board of Directors: Nina Martínez- Chair, Claudia D’Allegri- Vice Chair, Sandra Rodarte - Secretary, Mateo Arteaga-Treasurer, Gabriel Portugal, Chris Paredes, Gustavo Ramos, Nick Marquez, Sergio Castaneda, Jimmy Matta, Ruvine Jimenez, Larry Sanchez, Enrique López  
References: National Police Misconduct Reporting Project. Accessed 6/21/2016. Site: http://www.policemisconduct.net/




Response to Columbia County Coroner and Prosecutor Rea Culwell's decision to step down from inquest

Pasco WA. 6.17.2016


"Columbia County Coroner and Prosecutor Rea Culwell's decision to step down from presenting the facts of the shooting of Antonio Zambrano-Montes is very unprofessional and created unnecessary delay to conduct the inquest.  A professional would not have reviewed the facts, volunteered to present the facts, and then back down right before the inquest was to be held unless there was an ulterior motive.  The inquest is a state law that needs to be led by someone that is unbiased and can respect the guidelines of a coroner inquest.  Mr. Zambrano-Montes’ was fatally killed due to the police officers failing to use alternate measures to de-escalate the situation.  We as a community cannot condone a police shooting of a suspect that was shot at 17 times as a decision exercised in good faith and without malice because he was armed with rocks.


The question comes to mind if this can be done by a local unbiased authority with the demonstration of all the thwarted efforts Coroner Blasdel has had to overcome, Culwell’s public admission that she would not pursue the inquest after reviewing the case of Zambrano Montes or her praise in support of Prosecutor Sant’s decision not to charge the police officers involved with the death of Zambrano Montes is perceived to be biased, unethical and immoral.   At no point did she mention her concern for the victim Mr. Antonio Zambrano-Montes and the distress to the community members that witnessed his death. Coroner Blasdel’s efforts to find the right person to present the facts is in the best interest of the community.


LCA will continue to advocate that the inquest is conducted to provide the public more information about what happened to Mr. Zambrano-Montes on February 10, 2015. Prosecutor Shawn Sant made a decision to not charge the officers and in our opinion this was a wrong decision.  Being afforded transparency about the events that led to his death should not be delayed or interfered by those comfortable with status quo. Just because the police officers involved were investigated by their fellow police officers and not charged doesn't offer the community a peace of mind.  We have the right in a democratic country to question when we see injustice and encourage changes in the law when necessary.


We live in a country that allows us the opportunity to challenge ourselves as well as our communities to be the best stewards and the law enforcement agencies should live by that same expectation.  We appreciate the law enforcement that have personally worked with us and shared that they want to earn the respect of the community and we value their contribution to serve and protect.   The challenges we have witnessed with the Zambrano-Montes case in Tri- Cities and other community members statewide killed by police officers validates that the State of Washington needs to create legislation that will require an outside investigative authority instead of prosecutors or police officers to investigate cases when police officers use excessive or deadly use of force. " – Nina Martinez, LCA Chair

To learn more about Washington State Coroner Inquest:
http://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=36.24.020



LCA responds to former Pasco Police Officer Ryan Flanagan's court motion to remove Coroner Blasdel

Pasco WA 4.27.2016 - Released Tri City Herald


On February 10, 2015 Pasco lost a community member Mr. Antonio Zambrano Montes to a violent death at the hands of three police officers including former Police Officer Ryan Flanagan.  Mr. Zambrano Montes was shot 17 times holding a rock and this tragedy was witnessed by large amount of community members including children that could have been harmed or killed. Coroner Blasdel announced shortly after the incident that he would pursue a coroner inquest on the death of Mr. Antonio Zambrano Montes. LCA has publicly disagreed with Prosecutor Sant’s decision not to charge the police officers involved for the death of Mr. Zambrano Montes.  The overwhelming video coverage and public testimonies demonstrating the death of Mr. Zambrano Montes should have been enough evidence to prosecute them. From the beginning of the Coroner stating he would have an inquest has received objections from the Prosecutor Sant’s office, Franklin County Commissioners, Franklin & Benton Superior Court Judges and the police officers involved with the death of Mr. Zambrano Montes.  We have seen firsthand the lack of knowledge of the purpose of a coroner inquest from the very same opponents. Franklin Coroner Blasdel has conducted only 4 inquests in the last 21 years. This motion by Mr. Flanagan continues to be an interference to elevate the community’s lack of faith in the judicial system. 

The coroner’s inquest is a state law that Franklin County Coroner has the authority under Washington state law  to conduct inquests according to RCW 36.24.020 -
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=36.24.020

Any coroner, in his or her discretion, may hold an inquest if the coroner suspects that the death of a person was unnatural or violent, or resulted from unlawful means, or from suspicious circumstances, or was of such a nature as to indicate the possibility of death by the hand of the deceased or through the instrumentality of some other person: PROVIDED, That, except under suspicious circumstances, no inquest shall be held following a traffic death."

The court is a separate branch of government and has its own hearings and  having a judge oversee a coroner inquest exceeds the limitations of their role.  We find the unique stance of Mr. Flanagan to ask Coroner Blasdel to be removed from the inquest as undermining the solemnity of the RCW that clearly defines the coroner that ordered it. We also disagree with the allegation that the Coroner will not ensure unbiased opinions to complete his job.  The motion by Mr. Flanagan exceeds limitations to represent the people of Franklin County.

LCA disagrees that Franklin County Coroner Dan Blasdel violates the mandates of RCW 36.24.020. Considering that more than 60% of the constituents in Franklin County are Latino, Latinos have a high probability to serve on the jury which represents the community. Therefore, we disagree that Mr. Blasdel would select any specific ethnic group to serve on the jury. Refusal to support the Franklin County Coroner to proceed with the inquest is perceived as challenging the coroner from having a successful inquest. We believe the Coroner role as an elected official  is to serve as a trusted steward and be in support of the voices of the people, which are in support of the inquest.

The Franklin County Superior Court should deny Mr. Flanagan motion and allow Coroner Blasdel to proceed with the inquest.  LCA believes that regardless of the outcome of the inquest, we will continue to advocate for all available options to be uncovered to provide justice for the violent death of Mr. Zambrano Montes.  Washington State has lost many community members like Mr. Zambrano Montes in the line of fire by law enforcement when it could have been prevented. The inquest will add another set of eyes to the tragic death of Mr. Antonio Zambrano Montes, and after the inquest is completed our community will be one step closer to healing and restoring trust on the police officers and the court system not only in Pasco but in the Tri-Cities.

We question Mr. Flanagan's ulterior motive for wanting to remove the Coroner from the inquest. Stakeholders should remember that the City of Pasco paid $100,000 settlement for Mr. Flanagan's actions of excessive use of force to a hispanic woman and this history of his previous actions should reduce his moral fortitude to now make a claim that the coroner would be biased.  The inquest will provide transparency to the community.  The City of Pasco and Franklin County have the opportunity to rise above and ensure this tragic incident does not further divide our community. Our priority should be in building public trust and we do this by ensuring the inquest made in this case is done in a transparent manner and by removing any perception of bias and impartiality.

Latino Civic Alliance Board of Directors: Nina Martínez- Chair, Claudia D’Allegri- Vice Chair,Anahi Macchiavelli- Secretary, Mateo Arteaga-Treasurer, Gabriel Portugal, Chris Paredes, Enrique López, Gustavo Ramos, Nick Marquez, Sergio Castaneda, Jimmy Matta, Ruvine Jimenez, Sandra Rodarte, Larry Sanchez.