A Jump to Conclusion

A Jump to Conclusion

There’s an on-going rumor surrounding the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, FLOC, in East Toledo. What I heard was that the DEA raided FLOC headquarters. I’ve been told, therefore, to stay away.

I called Ramon Perez of FLOC in disbelief. His story as told through the eyes of another person, to no one’s surprise, is dramatically different. A concerned citizen called the police to report 4 Hispanic teens selling drugs. Those teens, according to the citizen, went into the FLOC building on Broadway.

The police arrived and forced themselves into the building. They did not present a warrant and were visibly “aggressive and agitated,” said Perez. He also pointed out that out of the four teens present at FLOC, none were charged with a crime.

D Michael Collins, as well as the Toledo Chief of Police, met with FLOC members to discuss the issue. What resulted is a bipartisan agreement.

The underlying problem is that police officers seem to elicit an extra gear of aggression when dealing with Hispanics. Most of these officers, as Mayor Collins put it, don’t know the Hispanic culture. This is a recipe in the making for unintentional racial profiling.

Therefore, an agreement is in place for the Toledo police academy to start training its cadets on Hispanic issues.

If officers are trained in Latino culture, maybe unjust raids on Hispanic homes and businesses can be avoided.

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