For Immediate Release
Matt Sutton 212-613-8026
Drug Policy Alliance Statement on Killing of Carlos Ingraham Lopez by Police When Responding to "Disorderly Conduct" Call Involving Drug Use
When Police Respond to Drug Use, Too Often Black & Brown People End up Hurt or Dead. It’s Time to Divest from Police Towards Humane & Compassionate Health-Centered Services.
WASHINGTON - In response to body cam footage released Wednesday of the April 2020 police killing of Carlos Ingraham Lopez in Tucson, Arizona – after they responded to an incident involving drug intoxication – Kassandra Frederique, Managing Director of Policy, Advocacy and Campaigns and Incoming Executive Director for theDrug Policy Alliance (DPA), released the following statement:
“We’ve said this before - police should not be first responders to calls involving behavioral health and drug use. When Carlos’ grandmother called the police because of his irregular behavior, she did not expect that they would kill her grandson. The Wendy’s employee that called the police on Rayshard Brooks also did not expect they would take his life, neither did the store owner that called the police on George Floyd. These incidents clearly could have been handled better by an unarmed, non-police responder trained in mental health and harm reduction. It is time to reevaluate what has fallen under the incredibly bloated scope of the police and begin redirecting resources towards appropriate community resources better suited for these kinds of situations.”
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DPA Network is the nation's leading organization working to end the war on drugs. We envision new drug policies based on science, compassion, health and human rights and a just society in which the fears, prejudices and punitive prohibitions of today are no more.