I don't even know what to feel right now. Like so many of you, I woke up yesterday to yet another video of a Black man's death autoplaying in my social media feed. Then, snipers attacked a peaceful demonstration in Dallas last night, threatening protesters and killing police officers--and it feels like we're in a never-ending nightmare.
Here's what I do know: We can't give up our fight for justice. Not now. Not ever.
So far, you and over 220,000 people have signed the petition demanding the Department of Justice bring charges against Alton Sterlings and Philando Castile's killers. People are fed up. And the more people who sign on--the harder it becomes for the Department of Justice to ignore. Can you share the petition with your family and friends?
Philando Castile's murder came less than 24 hours after the cops executed Alton Sterling.1 The officer shot him four times after pulling him, his girlfriend, and his daughter over for a broken taillight. Philando's girlfriend, Diamond "Lavish" Reynolds, livestreamed the entire incident on Facebook--you can hear the officer screaming at her while she tries to hold it together and her four-year-old daughter says “It’s ok, Mommy. I’m right here with you.”2 Then Diamond was arrested while the police took her child away.
Philando Castile complied with the officers' orders. He had a concealed carry permit. The only thing he could've done to avoid being killed was to not be Black. Share the petition.
There's a lot we can't make sense of, but one thing is clear after these few hard days: Policing in our communities does NOT equal safety. It has been nearly two years since protesters in Ferguson inspired a national outcry for police accountability.3 But our leaders have only increased their investment in the very police departments that are killing us. They do this with body cameras, racially-biased policing software, and ‘Blue Lives Matter’ bills. Meanwhile Black communities deal with the same outcomes of police terror and over-incarceration.4 Last night's tragedy will likely become another reason for increased police militarization and decreased safety for our people out in the streets.
The Department of Justice still hasn't agreed to launch a federal investigation into Philando's murder--but we're calling on them to bring accountability to the Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights police departments and bring charges in both Alton Sterling's and Philando Castile's cases.
Until justice is real,
Scott, Rashad, Arisha, Clarise, Enchanta and the rest of the ColorOfChange team.
1. "Why Alton Sterling and Philando Castile Are Dead," The Nation, 07-07-2016
2. "Woman livestreams aftermath of boyfriends fatal shooting by police in Falcon Heights," Twin Cities.com, 07-06-2016http://act.colorofchange.org/go/6448?t=8&akid=5956.1942551.laOMog
3. "Ferguson Remembers The Death That Launched A Movement," The Huffington Post, 08-09-2016http://act.colorofchange.org/go/6449?t=10&akid=5956.1942551.laOMog
4. "Justice Department Awards Over $23 Million in Funding for Body Worn Camera Pilot Program to Support Law Enforcement Agences in 32 States," The Department of Justice, 09-25-2015 https://act.colorofchange.org/go/6450?t=12&akid=5956.1942551.laOMog
"Louisiana governor signs 'Blue Lives Matter' bill making offenses against police hate crimes," NY Daily News, 05-27-2016http://act.colorofchange.org/go/6451?t=14&akid=5956.1942551.laOMog