Updated 03:48 AM EDT, Wed, Apr 08, 2020

Latino Leaders Respond to the Michael Brown Shooting and the Ferguson Protests: What They're Saying, and Why

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Latinos have issued statements about the shooting of Michael Brown and the upheaval in Ferguson, MO. Recently, Buzzfeed got a hold of several Latino organizations which voiced their opinions to the online news site regarding what's going on in Ferguson. Most Hispanic and Latino organizations coupled the alleged injustice against Brown with similar injustices immigrants are experiencing here in the U.S. Also, the rates of police violence against young Latino men is nearly on par with that against blacks, many leaders pointed out.

"Mike Brown is not the first, but the latest in an epidemic of violence," Marisa Franco of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network told Buzzfeed.com. "We say, not one more black person murdered by police, not one more struggle fought alone," Franco said, adding "Not one more life criminalized as we continue our struggle for not one more deportation."  She said that the black community has been fighting mass incarcerations and injustice by police for longer than people have been fighting for immigration rights.

A recent Pew Research Survey, however, suggested that Latinos by and large may not be as interested as blacks or even whites in what's going on in Ferguson. In the survey, less than one in five Latinos surveyed said they were paying attention to what is happening there. 

Sen. Ted Cruz, while not signaling support for protesters in Ferguson, did call out police for detaining journalists during the rioting. "Civil liberties must be protected, but violence is not the answer. Once the unrest is brought to an end, we should examine carefully what happened to ensure that justice is served," Cruz told the Hill.

But problems with police in urban communities affect both blacks and Latinos alike, and many incidents breed the same kind of distrust for police that's being experienced in Ferguson.

"More African-Americans and Latinos believe police stop people without due cause," Ronald Weitzer, an expert on urban policing and a sociology professor at George Washington University told Fox Latino, adding that the beliefs among people of color are that police are more likely to "use excessive force and engage in verbal abuse" against them "than white Americans."    

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