A letter written in solidarity with the Corado family by White People 4 Black Lives members Zach Sherwin and Adam Smith
May 4th, 2020
Executive Vice-President, Operations, Trader Joe’s Company
Dan Bane, CEO Trader Joe’s, Mitch Nadler, CFO Trader Joe’s, Kathryn Cahan, Senior VP, Trader Joe’s, Bob Langone, VP Operations, Trader Joe’s, Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles, Michel Moore, Chief of LAPD, Richard Tefank, Executive Director, LA Police Commission, Eileen Decker, LA Police Commission President, Shane Murphy-Goldsmith, LA Police Commission Vice President, Dale Bonner, LA Police Commissioner, Sandra Figueroa-Villa, LA Police Commission
To Robert Camarena:
On July 21st, 2018, the Los Angeles Police Department shot and killed Mely Corado, an employee at your store in the Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles. According to documents recently made available to the public, executives at Trader Joe’s met with representatives of the LAPD on December 18th, 2018, less than five months after Mely’s death, and agreed to provide the police department with donations of food and beverages valued at $125,000.
At the time of that meeting, the Los Angeles Police Commission had yet to even rule on whether the actions of the officers who killed Mely were “in policy.” Nevertheless, your company saw fit to offer a sizable donation to the organization whose reckless actions resulted in the tragic and senseless death of a longtime employee. The decision to proceed with the donation is deeply disrespectful of Mely’s memory, and constitutes a slap in the face to the still-grieving members of the Corado family. It sends the message that what the LAPD did that day was an excusable action. Trader Joe’s should know better than to align themselves with an organization that killed one of their own. In the last few weeks Trader Joe’s has been accused of not taking the proper precautions to protect their workers during the outbreak of COVID-19. They have allowed stores to stay open even after several employees across several stores contracted the virus. They are failing their employees during a crucial time and now they are failing Mely with this donation to those who killed her and who see her death not as a tragedy, but as something that was simply, “in policy.”
Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 5th, the Police Commission will vote to approve or reject this $125,000 donation. We demand that Trader Joe’s rescind the donation today, before the Commission even has the opportunity to vote on it. We also demand that Trader Joe’s stop offering financial support to the LAPD, arguably the most murderous police force in the country. Even though this is a material donation rather than a monetary one, the donation sends a clear message to communities in LA and beyond that Trader Joe’s cares about neither their customers nor their employees; particularly those impacted by police violence.
Please do the right thing and rescind this appalling and hurtful donation immediately.
White People 4 Black Lives
Black Lives Matter — LA
Stop LAPD Spying Coalition
Los Angeles Community Action Network
Dignity and Power Now
Creating Justice LA
Ground Game LA
Youth Justice Coalition
CA STOP Coalition
Democratic Socialists of America — LA
Fannie Lou Hamer Institute
Sunrise Movement LA
About Face: Veterans Against The War- LA
Lens Co LA
AIM So Cal
American Indian Movement California
Me Too Survivors’ March International
Occupy ICE L.A.
International Indigenous Resistance
Black Lives Matter — Long Beach
This letter was written in solidarity with the Corado family by White People 4 Black Lives members Zach Sherwin and Adam Smith.
White People 4 Black Lives (WP4BL) is a white anti-racist collective and activist project of the Alliance of White Anti-Racists Everywhere (AWARE-LA) and operates within a national network of white anti-racists called Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ). WP4BL is rooted in acting in solidarity with Black Lives Matter: Los Angeles.