On Wednesday, September 19th, Juntos held a Truth Commission in Norristown to address concerns within the Latino community regarding worsening relations with the local Norristown police. With close to 100 people present at the event, Juntos Leaders read aloud written testimonies from Latino community members from Norristown from a “white paper” report which included 8 individual cases ranging from incidents of racial profiling, harassment and unjust detention by local police and ICE officials.
The report ended with a list of community recommendations that were put out as a path to build better relations with officials and the Latino community. Some of the recommendations are as follows;
- “We ask that the Norristown Police Department immediately stop racial profiling community members and asking for “papers.” There is no law in the state of Pennsylvania that allows for this, and it is a clear violation of peoples’ civil and human rights.”
- “We ask that local checkpoints not be used as immigration checkpoints.”
- “We ask that the Norristown Police Department undergo training on how to best work and build with Latino and immigrant communities.”
- “We ask that the information of family members detained be released to loved ones as soon as possible to avoid confusion and fear in the community. Families have a right to know where their loved ones are located.”
- “Almost 1 in every 3 people in Norristown is Latino and we ask that the Norristown Police District support hiring practices that allow the force to be reflective of that population in race and language.”
To read the community White Paper in it’s entirety CLICK HERE
Taking these recommendations into account, Municipal Councilwoman Linda Christian and town administrator David Forrest, who were both in attendance at the event, committed to look into the reported cases of abuse and also committed to have a follow-up meeting with Juntos and community members to build working relationships between the Latino community and Norristown local police.
In the meantime Juntos has created a hotline where people can call in and leave a message documenting their own personal experiences of abuse with police and ICE officials.
The number people should call is
Here is a report done by Univision 65 on the event