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(SALINAS) — The following is a statement from Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Salinas) regarding the recent officer-involved shootings in Salinas:

“Recently, there have been two fatal officer-involved shootings—incidents that have sparked anger amongst residents in the City of Salinas. While I share the wave of emotions surging through our community, I want to remind everyone that violent behavior is not the answer. Violence will only divide us at a time when we desperately need to work together to rebuild the trust that our community was built upon. I cannot stress enough the importance of remaining calm, peaceful, and patient while the investigation continues. Our police officers also need to continue to respond to public safety calls by local residents and emergencies in our city.

“Although I am asking the community to refrain from further aggravation of the situation, please rest assured that those of us in leadership plan on calling for a vigilant course of action. First, I will be asking the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct an independent investigation. Second, I am calling for a crisis mediation process that will address community concerns while rebuilding trust between residents and our police department. Lastly, there should be a comprehensive review of the Salinas Police Department’s policies and training procedures regarding the use of deadly force.

“The goal of this course of action is to find the answers that we seek while healing the pain that these incidences have caused. Let us not be defined by the tragedies we experience, but by our resilient response to those tragedies.”

Luis Alejo represents the 30th District in the California State Assembly, which consists of the Salinas Valley, Monterey County, San Benito County, South Santa Clara County and the city of Watsonville in Santa Cruz County.

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