Police Killings of Black People Must Stop

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                 
September 23, 2016    
CONTACT: Jeralyn Cave                                                    
412-682-0798
jcave@advancementproject.org

 

Police Killings of Black People Must Stop

Racial Justice Organization Demands Justice for Families of Keith Lamont Scott, Terence Crutcher and Tyre King


WASHINGTON – On Tuesday, police officers viciously shot and killed Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina as he waited for his son to be dropped off from school. Police video of the shooting failed to substantiate earlier claims made by the police. On Monday, police officers killed Terence Crutcher as he walked with his hands up away from police after his car stalled on 36th St in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Disturbing video contradicted false statements made by the police that Crutcher was armed. Last Wednesday, police shot and killed 13-year-old Tyre King in Columbus, Ohio after being stopped with two friends. King, who weighed less than 100 pounds, was killed by three gunshot wounds after fleeing with a toy gun. The killings have led to consecutive nights of protest in Charlotte, N.C., even amid a curfew and aggressive police tactics. Advancement Project, a multi-racial civil rights organization released this statement:

“The recent killings of African Americans at the hands of police are nothing short of atrocious,” said Judith Browne Dianis, executive director of Advancement Project’s national office.  The deaths of 13-year-old Tyre King, Terence Crutcher, a man killed with his hands raised in the air, and Keith Lamont Scott, a disabled man, highlight the systemic nature of the problem with policing in this country. We stand in solidarity with the families and communities across the nation who are demanding justice and accountability.”

“The merciless killings of Keith Lamont Scott, Terence Crutcher and Tyre King also perfectly exemplify how Blackness in America is still equated with criminality and guilt,” said Browne Dianis. “Helicopter footage records show how police automatically criminalized Crutcher, calling him a ‘bad dude’ solely based on his race, even though he had his hands up. All he sought was help for his stalled car, but he was still deemed a threat. As he walked with his hands raised, he walked toward a police execution. Terence Crutcher’s death is the perfect picture of what systemic racism and unchecked bias look like in our country. It looks like the continual dehumanization and death of people of color.”

“Being Black in America often means your fundamental right to move freely is taken away,” continued Browne Dianis. “The automatic assignment of suspicion to people of color is literally costing Black and Brown people their lives. This is unacceptable and we must continue to shift the public narrative and end a culture that consistently attempts to demonize and vilify our bodies.”

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Advancement Project is a multi-racial civil rights organization. Founded by a team of veteran civil rights lawyers in 1999, Advancement Project was created to develop and inspire community-based solutions based on the same high quality legal analysis and public education campaigns that produced the landmark civil rights victories of earlier eras.