In today from Nita and Shaunna of Ultra Violet.
***This has been a tragic, violent week, and our thoughts are with the families of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and the five law enforcement officers killed in Dallas last night. We must continue our fight for justice and equality.***
Within just 48 hours two Black men were killed by police, one in Louisiana and one in Minnesota. The killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were caught on video and publicized to the world.1
No one deserves to be killed for selling CDs or for having a tail light out, as these men were. And neither did the police officers killed last night in Dallas.2
But the sad reality is that Black people are twice as likely as white people to be shot by police. And young Black men? Nine times as likely as the average American to die at the hands of a police officer.3
The Department of Justice has already stepped in to investigate Sterling’s death in Louisiana, and is likely contemplating stepping in to investigate Castile’s death in Minnesota.4 But investigating isn’t enough–as long as there are no consequences when police shoot Black people for being Black, it will keep happening. Will you add your name to this petition calling for the Department of Justice to bring charges against the police officers who shot Sterling and Castile?
|Tell the Department of Justice: Bring charges against the Baton Rouge police officers who killed Alton Sterling as well as the Falcon Heights police officers who killed Philando Castile.|
As President Obama said, “these fatal shootings are not isolated incidents. They are symptomatic of the broader challenges within our criminal justice system, the racial disparities that appear across the system year after year, and the resulting lack of trust that exists between law enforcement and too many of the communities they serve.”5
UltraViolet is here to create a cost for sexism and build a more equitable future. We can’t achieve that without simultaneously working to dismantle racism. Women, and especially the Black women among us, wake up every day terrified that the their loved ones will die for nothing more than a broken tail light (Philando Castile), or selling CDs (Alton Sterling), or failing to signal a lane change (Sandra Bland), or selling cigarettes (Eric Garner), or riding a train (Oscar Grant), or holding a fake gun (Tamir Rice), or simply walking up the stairs to get home (Akai Gurley).6
Black women should be able to live and raise families free from the fear that police could take their children and loved ones away. Black women, and other women of color, deserve the right to raise families free from fear that any day might be their last.
It’s time for the Department of Justice to make sure there is real punishment for the crime of killing Black people.
Thanks for standing up,
–Nita, Shaunna, Kat, Karin, Adam, Holly, Kaili, Kathy, Onyi, Susan, Anathea, Audine, Ryan, Shannon, Megan, Kaytee, and Libby, the UltraViolet team
1. Woman streams aftermath of fatal officer-involved shooting, CNN, July 8, 2016
2. Dallas shooting: 5 police officers killed by snipers during protest, CNN, July 8, 2016
3. Young black men killed by US police at highest rate in year of 1,134 deaths, The Guardian, December 31, 2015
4. The DOJ Will Investigate Alton Sterling’s Shooting, Huffington Post, July 6, 2016
5. President Obama on the Fatal Shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, White House, July 7, 2016
6. Everyday Things That Could Cost You Your Life if You’re Black, Mic via Facebook, July 7, 2016