Julian Castro announced his endorsements of four ‘People First Policing’ candidates committed to ending police violence and fixing the criminal justice system.

Julian Castro endorsed four People First Policing candidates committed to ending police violence and fixing the criminal justice system. Castro, former presidential candidate, former secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and former mayor of San Antonio, TX, was the first 2020 candidate with a standalone plan focused on ending police brutality and made police reform a centerpiece of his presidential campaign. 

To fully achieve justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and more, we need to put our money where our mouth is and elect candidates who will divest in over-policing and invest in communities instead,” said Castro.

The People First Policing candidates are Ayanna Pressley, candidate for 7th Congressional District (Massachusetts), George Gascon, candidate for Los Angeles County District Attorney, Jose Garza, candidate for Travis County, Texas District Attorney, and Kim Foxx, candidate for Cook County, Illinois State Attorney. 

These endorsements come at a time of civil unrest across the nation over the police brutality that led to the death of George Floyd. As protesters assembled in opposition to police violence and the systemic racism that resulted in the deaths of many Black people, they were met with more violence.

Who are the ‘People First Policing’ candidates?

Last week, Pressley filed a resolution in partnership with Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, California Rep. Karen Bass, and the Congressional Black Caucus that condemns police brutality, racial profiling, and excessive use of force. On Thursday, Pressley and Michigan Rep. Justin Amash announced that they co-sponsored a bill to end qualified immunity, a doctrine that shields police officers and public officials from lawsuits when doing their jobs, making it difficult to hold them accountable. 

On Castro’s endorsement, Pressley said, “it’s time to demand that our leaders at every level of government fight for our lives and stand up for the bold action we need now. I stand shoulder to shoulder with Julian in the fight for accountability and the pursuit of justice, and I am honored to have his support.”

Meanwhile, Gascon looks to unseat Jackie Lacey as LA County’s top prosecutor. He is the co-author of Proposition 47, which lessened violations for some felonies to misdemeanors, and championed criminal justice reforms like ending cash bail. He was also endorsed by former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

Garza, who received the most votes in the primary, faces incumbent D.A. Margaret Moore in a May 26 runoff. 

Foxx is an incumbent and seeks re-election in November. Foxx said, “Fighting for criminal justice reform means putting the needs of our communities first. We cannot change our broken system without calling for justice and accountability. Not only in our law enforcement but in the policies we create.”

Castro’s ‘People First Future’ PAC

Last week Castro launched People First Future, a political action committee to elect progressive Democrats who are “running bold campaigns focused on people, including the most vulnerable Americans.” Since its launch, People First Future raised over $65,000 for organizations supporting protesters in Minneapolis. 

Candy Chan

Candy Chan is studying History with a focus on War and Revolution at Barnard College. She is currently a staff writer at the Columbia Daily Spectator, covering issues pertaining to Columbia's...