Interview with Marta Cotera

Marta shares her thoughts on the intersection of race, violence, and policing, emphasizing a call for empathy and reform. She shares how her family coped with the murder of her son, and how criminal cases exert an emotional toll on everyone involved.

Marta Cotera is a human rights activist in Austin, Texas. She describes her community's experience with law enforcement as minorities, and shares how these experiences have motivated her work in police reform. Marta talks about her son, who was murdered in 1997 along with another individual, and shares her and her family's experience with the justice system after the arrest of the two individuals who murdered her son. She describes her thoughts and emotions against the death penalty, stating

"But with the death penalty, it's blatantly done in our name. I mean blatantly done on behalf of the state and on behalf of all the individuals in the state. And so there's, I think, a very strong moral imperative, like with war, to get rid of it."

Marta shares the emotions she felt throughout the year while awaiting the sentencing of the individuals who murdered her son. She details the delicate nature of working with victims' families while being a part of one herself, and how criminal cases take an extensive emotional toll on all parties involved. Lastly, Marta shares her perspective on how to build communities that nurture empathy and care in order to break the cycle of violence that is often perpetuated by differences in racial and economic status.