ACLU-MD Statement on the Police Killings in Louisiana and Minnesota

July 8, 2016

CONTACT: Brittany Oliver, 410-693-4877, oliver@aclu-md.org

 

The following can be attributed to Susan Goering, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland:

 

"This week, the country witnessed the killings of two more Black men at the hands of law enforcement, and we are now living through the aftermath-including the killings of five law enforcement officers. 

 

These deaths, all of them, are tragic and damaging to all our communities.

 

What concerns us is accountability-while we feel confident that justice will be sought for the deaths of the five officers, we fear that a separate, unequal, less zealous path of accountability will proceed for the families of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

 

This has been the unfortunate trend here in Maryland, where we have seen countless unpunished killings of Black men-many unarmed-at the hands of law enforcement. Every unarmed person killed by police in Maryland in 2015 was Black. We are facing a human rights crisis in Maryland and across the country. 

 

This lack of accountability worsens the schism between communities of color and the officers sworn to serve them, and ultimately puts all our lives and livelihoods in danger.

 

Today, we stand with the families and communities of those killed and call on our leaders to move urgently toward interrupting the cycle of violence. There must be a fundamental change in the way law enforcement serves our communities.

 

We must begin by acknowledging that these deaths flow from decades of oppression that still have this country in a stranglehold. Until all Americans can own this history and its ongoing legacy, the crisis will continue."

 

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