Presidential hopeful and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro said he unveiled a new policing plan on Monday in order to fix a criminal justice system that he says is broken.
“Even though we have some great police officers out there, and I know that because I served as mayor of San Antonio, this is not a case of just a few bad apples,” Castro told CNN’s Don Lemon on “CNN Tonight.” “The system is broken.”
Castro said his plan, which he called the “People First Policing Plan,” focuses on “ending overaggressive policing, increasing accountability for police officers and police departments, and also trying to mend the divide that often exists between some neighborhoods and communities and the police.”
“You’ve seen these videos over and over and over again of police officers who have used excessive force, disproportionately, especially against young black men,” Castro said.
He specifically cited the death of Eric Garner in 2014. Cell phone video shows Garner lying motionless on the ground after repeatedly saying, “I can’t breathe,” after being put in an apparent chokehold by a New York City police officer.
Garner’s death fueled months of anti-police protests across the nation.
Over the weekend, at MoveOn’s Big Ideas Forum in San Francisco, Castro said, “About four years ago, Dylann Roof walked into Mother Emanuel AME Church and he murdered nine people while they were worshiping. And then a couple of hours later, he was apprehended by police without incident.”
Castro said it made him think, “What about Eric Garner?”
“And what about Philando Castile?” he continued, “And what about Pamela Turner, and what about Jason Pero, and what about Tamir Rice, and what about Laquan McDonald? And what about so many others? What about Stephon Clark, and what about Antonio Arce?”
“What about all of those young men and women whose lives were lost because of police violence?” Castro said.