FLOC mourns the loss of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the officers killed in Dallas and Baton Rouge, and we honor their lives by standing beside our black brothers and sisters fighting for black lives to be valued, respected, and protected. We are proud to be a part of a movement building black and brown solidarity, and today I am recommitting myself personally and FLOC to continue working with other unions and community organizations to build understanding and solidarity.
In our own community, the FLOC Homies Union, a youth organizing committee based out of FLOC’s Toledo office, is working to improve relations between the Toledo police and the local community. The Homes have been working with the Toledo Police Department to negotiate a code of conduct to foster honesty, integrity, and ethical behavior, and treatment that recognizes the value of every life.
Several members of the Homies Union have been the targets of police discrimination, and have been wrongly accused of being gang members. We want police to protect us, and not look at us as automatic suspects on the street.
“We want the police to protect us, and not be looked upon as automatic suspects when they see us on the streets,” said FLOC President Baldemar Velasquez.
Philando Castile was also a part of our labor community. He was a member of Teamsters Local 320, and a beloved staff member at the school where he worked.
Now is the time when solidarity matters most in this movement for justice. I hope you’ll join us in standing with our black brothers and sisters as we all fight for a country where traffic stops don’t end in death.