Open letter to the San Luis Obispo Police Department in regards to charges against Tiana Arata and Elias Bautista

Women’s March SLO (WMSLO) has been a Police and Community Together (PACT) member since 2017. The mission of the PACT as stated is to affect positive social change through dialogue, education and understanding.

PACT Mission Statement

PACT will develop and preserve community partnership, increase awareness and acceptance of diversity in the San Luis Obispo Police Department and community through inclusion, education and collaboration. The PACT is committed to cultivating  a culturally inclusive environment where diversity is valued and respected.

As a member of PACT, WMSLO is deeply concerned about the charges brought by SLOPD against Tianna Arata and Elias Bautista.

Women’s March San Luis Obispo supports the Black Lives Matter movement, and advocates for accountability and justice in cases of police brutality, and ending racial profiling and targeting of communities of color. It is our moral imperative to dismantle the gender and racial inequities within the criminal justice system.

WMSLO recognizes that it takes courage for local BIPOC youth organizers to step up when those around them dismiss their experience and their existence as irrelevant. It takes even more courage to continue fighting for justice when the community they live in questions the peaceful means by which they fight. Tianna Arata and Elias Bautista spoke up against racial injustice in a county whose Sheriff does not believe systemic racism exists and does not understand the purpose or the need for the Black Lives Matter movement, per his own words. The trust and the social contract has been broken, and not by the protesters. 

WMSLO appeals to you to pursue social change as described in the PACT mission statement – by dialogue, education and understanding – instead of felony charges that can destroy more lives yet. 

WMSLO respectfully requests that the department reconsider recommending these charges.

Women’s March San Luis Obispo

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