“Do not let anyone quench your fire. Do not let them dismiss your love nor pacify your rage. My love, do not water yourself down.” – Love and Rage, poem by Charlie Landeros. #LoveAndRage4Charlie

Charles (Charlie) Landeros was a 30-year-old person who was shot and killed by unknown Eugene police officer(s) on the morning of January 11, 2019.  Charlie was born in Hong Kong, and migrated with their*[1]family to the US, where Charlie was raised on Kalapuya land in Eugene, Oregon. Charlie attended Cascade Middle School, also where they were tragically killed yesterday, and graduated from Willamette High School, enlisted in the Army at age 17. Upon being honorably discharged from the military, they attended the University of Oregon.  Charlie was most proud of being a parent to two daughters ages 10 and 12.

In addition to the children, Charlie Landeros leaves behind their partner, parents, a younger brother, and numerous other family members and friends. “The biggest thing is trying to figure out how to live without my older sibling, my lifelong support. Charlie has always been there for me when I needed them, but never again. I have accepted this, but I still don’t know how to go from here,” said Joesph Landeros, Charlie’s brother.

The details of this homicide are still largely unknown.  What is known is that Charlie had recently enrolled their daughter at Cascade Middle school as the custodial parent. The school contacted Charlie regarding their child’s safety, and Charlie went to the school to ensure the safety of this child.  We also know that Charlie was shot multiple times by Eugene Police Officer(s), several feet in front of the main entrance to the school.

The family of the deceased requests that the community recognize that deaths like Charlie’s are neither accidental or uncommon. “Charlie was the beating heart of every project they were involved in, the beating heart of our community,” said Ariel, Charlie’s partner. “We will need to learn how to regrow from that, because Charlie’s reach was so big.”

While people of color comprise 38.5 percent of the U.S. population, they make up 51.5 percent of those killed by police.  In spite of this staggering statistic, there is no national database that police departments must submit a record to when they complete an investigation after an officer shoots a civilian.

Despite law enforcement’s willful ignorance, in the last several years there have been far too many headlines describing people of color being shot and killed by police. The lesson learned: the experience of dealing with police in America is different for whites and nonwhites. Charlie was of mixed Filipino and Mexican descent.

Unlike the investigation into the police shooting death of fellow veteran Brian Babb, the family demands that this investigation be transparent, unbiased and thorough.

Donations to fund the independent investigation into Charlie’s homicide by police can be made at:  https://cldc.org/donate/ and please note that your donation is in memory of Charlie Landeros.

[1]* Charlie’s gender pronouns are they/theirs.