Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro is the latest Democratic presidential candidate to take their message to Fox News viewers, and he used the opportunity to send a powerful message on police violence.
Castro spoke of the white supremacist shooter who murdered nine worshippers in a 2015 shooting at Charleston, South Carolina’s Emmanual African Methodist Episcopal Church.
“And then a few hours later he was apprehended, without incident, as I believe he should be […],” Castro said of the shooter, questioning why so many people from black and Hispanic communities have been shot and killed by police officers.
In a powerful moment, Castro rattled off a list of people who had been shot and killed by police officers under circumstances that have been heavily criticized and met with public outcry:
“But then what about Eric Garner? And what about Stephon Clark? And what about Jason Pero? And what about Sandra Bland? And what about Tamir Rice? And what about Laquan McDonald? And what about Pamela Turner? And what about Antonio Arce, here in Tempe, Arizona?”
Castro’s remarks were met with applause from the audience.
Watch the video below:
How many videos of police misconduct do we have to watch before we realize this isn’t a case of a few bad apples? The system is broken—but I’ve put forward a plan to mend the relationship between police departments and the communities they serve. #CastroTownHall pic.twitter.com/eVKpNhy4Ff
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) June 14, 2019
Castro, the former mayor of San Antonio, was quick to add that he understands that many police officers are good. But he also rejected the common hand-waving of incidents from “a few bad apples.” Instead, he argued that the issue was deeper — “the system itself is broken,” he said.
Pointing to his policy platform, Castro touted his pitch to reform the relationship between police departments and their respective communities through an approach he has dubbed “People First Policing.”
Castro’s website outlines three key points in his plan:
- “End over-aggressive policing and combat racially discriminatory policing.”
- “Hold police accountable.”
- “Start the healing process between communities and law enforcement.”
Castro is the latest Democratic candidate to appear in a Fox News town hall, an issue that has been polarizing among the crowded field. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) turned down the opportunity in May and argued that appearing on the network lends credibility to the network’s inflammatory opinion hosts, and dubbed the operation “a hate-for-profit racket that gives a megaphone to racists and conspiracists.”
But other Democratic candidates like Castro, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-.N.Y.) have accepted the appearances, likely seeing it as an opportunity to get their message in front of potential voters who otherwise may not hear from them directly.