September 30, 2021 Dena Jensen
Although I’m not currently working with Riveters Collective Justice System Committee, I am excited about their latest work.
Here’s the link to access their full review of Bellingham Police Department’s internal investigation regarding one of their officer’s handling of an incident involving 15 year old, Alfredo ‘Lelo’ Juarez, who ended up being detained at the Northwest Detention Center back in 2015 after being pulled over for a traffic stop: https://riveterscollective.org/2021/09/learn-why-we-believe-police-reform-is-necessary/
Here are a few key sections from the review:
“Having felt BPD racially-profiled Lelo, he and his parents filed a complaint, which prompted BPD to conduct an investigation.”
“During the investigation, Officer Serad acknowledged that he’d never before called CBP for a similar traffic stop. He also said that his typical response when he can’t confirm someone’s identity is to have a passenger take the driver home. He’d also cite the driver for not having a valid license or other relevant infractions.”
“In contrast to Officer Serad’s own testimony, the investigator noted in the investigation report that “no information was discovered to suggest that Officer Serad handled the call differently because of the driver’s race, ethnicity, national origin…” and determined he did not violate police policy. This appears at odds with the investigator’s recommendation that Serad receive retraining on immigration violations, DACA, and the racial-based profiling policy.”
Be sure to check out the full review. The RC Justice System Committee found numerous issues related to the investigation process that our community should seek to address as we take action toward creating greater justice, especially for marginalized communities in Whatcom County.
Also, here’s a link to a blog page with a number of posts that offer other background on the incident involving BPD and Lelo Juarez: https://noisywatersnw.com/?s=lelo+juarez