Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro gave an response Tuesday at the Presidential Candidate Forum held by AARP and the Des Moines Register in Bettendorf, Iowa, that is winning him some support.
Castro was asked about the recent news regarding the U.S. Justice Department's decision to not bring civil or criminal charges against NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo. Pantaleo is the officer seen in a cell phone video putting Eric Garner in an illegal choke hold before the 47-year-old died of an asthma attack induced by the officer's force.
Eric Garner said he couldn’t breathe 11 times.— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) July 17, 2019
He was put in an illegal choke hold for 7 seconds.
The DOJ civil rights division recommended charges.
This officer killed Garner, and now he will not be held accountable.
That’s a miscarriage of justice. pic.twitter.com/fDdlwW5cF8
"This officer had plenty of warning; he should have understood that he was killing Eric Garner," Castro said.
Castro has made headlines during the 2020 presidential race for being the only candidate to release a plan for police reform in an attempt to stop police brutality against unarmed Black and Brown people.
His proposal would create a public national database of officers who have been decertified and would push for better data collection on police stops by bolstering existing reporting standards. Castro's plan would also ensure that offending officers are held accountable for their wrongdoings with a revision of criminal and civil law.
Castro's response at the forum quickly became emotionally charged, as the former San Antonio mayor recited the names and circumstances of the many Black lives lost to police violence.
"We've seen Eric Garner; we've seen Tamir Rice; we've seen Michael Brown; we've seen LaQuan McDonald; we've seen Walter Scott; we've seen Stephon Clark," Castro said. "All of these individuals, who are Black, get treated differently by police."
Without even hearing the pushback, Castro responded to it, acknowledging the "good" police officers that are on the clock but calling out the broken system they stand in.
“I know we have some great police officers; this is not a case of bad apples,” Castro said. “The system is broken, and we need to fix it."
According to Politico's projections, Castro is set to appear on the Democratic debate stage in Detroit either July 30 or 31.