THE UNTOLD STORY: THE JUSTICE FOR MICHELLE LE COALITION SPEAKS OUT

Press Release from AF3IRM – Bay Area

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — July 21, 2011

THE UNTOLD STORY OF POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY: THE JUSTICE FOR MICHELLE LE COALITION SPEAKS OUT

On the heels of recent police brutality around the Bay Area, including the shooting of Charles Hill by BART Police and the shooting of Kenneth Harding by SFPD, the Justice for Michelle Le Coalition highlights the abuse and neglect of women and people of color at the hands of Bay Area police departments. On July 20th, over 20 coalition members from around the Bay Area met in Oakland for the first Justice for Michelle Le Coalition Meeting.

Michelle Le, a 26-year old Southeast Asian woman and nursing student, was kidnapped from Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Hayward on May 27th. “Police authorities delayed investigation for 3 days and now, over two months later, Michelle is still missing,” says Lauren Funiestas, AF3IRM SF/Bay Area member. “We demand that police are held accountable for gross neglect and refusal to put the proper amount of resources towards Michelle Le’s case,” Funiestas added.

Coalition members agreed to escalate the campaign to pressure the Hayward Police Department to put sufficient resources into finding Michelle Le. In less than two weeks, over 500 petition signatures against the Hayward Police Department were collected, 15 member organizations formed the Coalition, and media was utilized to increase awareness of Michelle’s case. Now, coalition members are re-affirming their demands and looking to escalate tactics against the Hayward Police Department.

The Justice for Michelle Le Coalition calls to question the police departments’ lack of prioritization of crimes against women, especially women of color. “I went to Chabot College in Hayward and I don’t feel safe or trust that the police will do anything if a crime is committed against one of my friends, family members, after what happened to Michelle Le and Oscar Grant’s best friend Johntue Caldwell,” said Tina Watson, Justice for Michelle Le Coalition Member.

To find out how to be involved and to join the Justice for Michelle Le Campaign please contact sfbayarea@af3irm.org. The next full Justice for Michelle Le Coalition Meeting will be on Wednesday, August 10 at 6:00pm at the Noe Valley Circle Community Bank. –###

Justice for Michelle Le Petition: http://www.change.org/petitions/hold-the-hayward-police-accountable-for-neglect-refusal-to-prioritize-crimes-against-women

Link to AF3IRM Website post: http://www.af3irm.org/2011/7/untold-story-police-accountability-justice-michelle-le-coalition-speaks-out

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