NPA Condemns Failure to Secure Justice for Michael Brown

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jacob Swenson, 312.316.3973 or Jacob@npa-us.org

NPA Condemns Failure to Secure Justice for Michael Brown

Calls on Law Enforcement to Stop Using Violence to Undermine Civil Rights

Today a Saint Louis County grand jury failed to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. This was despite multiple, consistent eyewitness accounts describing events in which the surrendering, unarmed teenager was shot to death in cold blood.

“While surprising to no one, it is nonetheless devastating that law enforcement and the State of Missouri have once again affirmed that Black lives do not matter and that as Black people, we cannot expect the same protection from violence that white citizens enjoy,” said Bree Carlson, Director of the Structural Racism Program at National People’s Action.

Time and time again, government comes to the defence of police officers who commit acts of violence against People of Color, siding against the victims of these unwarranted and vile acts. This violence is not only tolerated, but is in fact a tool to repress the rights and voices of Black citizens.

In the name of public safety, the Governor of Missouri has already declared a state of emergency. But we know that means safety only for some. In the coming days, law enforcement will steadily escalate the use of violence as long as protesters continue to assert the right of equal protection that belongs to all of us.

The Obama Administration and the Department of Justice have a duty to uphold the right to assemble, the right to protest, and above all equal protection under the law of all our citizens.

We demand an immediate end to the law enforcement violence in Ferguson and the immediate and unconditional de-militarization of all law enforcement agencies. We demand that the Department of Justice perform a comprehensive review of systemic abuses by local police departments, including the publication of data relating to racially biased policing. Finally, the Department of Justice must repurpose law enforcement funds toward community based policing.

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National People’s Action (www.npa-us.org) is a network of 30 grassroots organizations in 17 states, with 85,000 individual members working together to advance a racial and economic justice agenda for a new economy and true democracy.