As the foremost national coalition of organizations dedicated to civil rights and racial justice, we are outraged by the fact that no charges were filed against any of the police officers involved in the murder of Breonna Taylor. Felony charges of wanton endangerment filed against Officer Hankison are related to bullets fired into neighboring apartments. No charges were filed for the bullets fired into Breonna Taylor’s apartment, including the ones that took her life.
America is at a crossroads, battling the intersection of the “twin pandemics” of racism and COVID-19. Despite the vast majority of the nation practicing physical distancing and staying at home, we have seen no corresponding reduction in state violence against communities of color. In light of yesterday’s announcement, we denounce any and all attempts that seek to distort the predominantly peaceful nature of the protests that we are seeing across this country and incite even more violence against our communities by local, state, and federal authorities and armed vigilantes like Kyle Rittenhouse.
Our collaborative calls for immediate impartial, and full justice for Breonna Taylor and her family. We call for justice for the many other Black, American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Latino, and Asian American people of color who have suffered the same fate at the hands of law enforcement across this country. And we call for justice for the future victims from our communities, who no doubt will lose their lives unless all Americans come together to compel federal, state, and local governments to dismantle the deep-rooted power structures that allow these brutal acts of violence to occur, and then go unpunished. We call for:
- the immediate indictment of all of the officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s murder;
- the removal of State Attorney General Daniel Cameron;
- eliminating qualified immunity and any other laws that prevent the full prosecution of state and local police and corrections officers;
- heed calls for reinvesting resources in non-policing forms of public safety and community support;
- the President’s appointment of an independent special prosecutor to lead the federal government’s full and impartial investigation of the murder of Breonna Taylor, and to prosecute those federal rights protections violations accordingly to the full extent of the law;
- the systematic reinstitution by the Department of Justice of consent decrees on police departments and municipal governments across this country that have demonstrated patterns of racism towards and mistreatment of people of color;
- Congressional oversight hearings, at least annually, to review the status of the implementation of the Death in Custody Reporting Act to compel the collection, reporting and analysis of all deaths, by race and gender, that occur in law enforcement custody, including any that occur while a person is being detained or arrested;
- federal, state, and local governments to issue states of emergency declaring racism a public health crisis, and to develop targeted policies to address this crisis; and
- all Americans to commit to working with us to dismantle systemic racism that has enabled this scourge of race-based violence to grow unabated.
These systemic changes, taken together, represent just some of the steps needed to address systemic racism, rampant white supremacy and the interlinking systems of inequity that stymy the wellbeing and living of so many of us. November 3rd is a national referendum: use your voice at the ballot box and support candidates who take a stand against racism, promote racial justice and will answer calls for police accountability and criminal justice reform. Together, at the polls we can exact change by voting in prosecutors and law enforcement officials who stand for racial justice for all. #TogetherWeVote for justice for #BreonnaTaylor to #endsystemicracism and #policeviolence.
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Advancement Project National Office, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Demos, Faith in Action, NAACP, National Congress of American Indians, National Urban League, Race Forward, and UnidosUS are a collaborative of nine leading national racial equity anchor organizations (the Anchors) supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Together, we work to promote racial equity, advance racial healing, and ensure that all children, families, and communities have opportunities to reach their full potential.