Friday, July 8, 2016

NBCSL Calls for an End to Police Violence and an Investigation into Police Training Practices Nationwide

July 7, 2016 -- This week, several different families had their lives turned upside down following the deaths of their loved ones. Alton Sterling, a 37 year old Baton Rouge native was killed by 2 police officers on Tuesday, July 5th after a 911 call was placed indicating there was a man with a gun. Video footage demonstrates Sterling was on the floor when he was fired upon by both police officers. 24 hours later, Minnesota man Philando Castile was shot and killed in front of his fiancée and her four year old daughter following a traffic stop because of a broken tail light. Video recording taken by his fiancée, shows Castile reaching into his wallet to pull out his ID after informing the officer he had a registered firearm before being shot four times. Castile was later pronounced dead at a Minneapolis hospital. In response to these murders, citizens took to the streets of Dallas to engage in what was supposed to be a peaceful protest. Unfortunately, 12 police officers were shot, and five of them were killed. NBCSL President Sen. Catherine Pugh offers the following statement:

“First, all of our prayers and thoughts are with the families. Events like this are becoming all too familiar for many families in America, families that have to bury fathers, brothers, sons, and cousins, because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. The police that serve in our communities are meant to protect us in those communities. But what can we do when they no longer make us feel safe? As legislators, we are entrusted with representing the wants and needs of those that have elected us, and what they want and need is to feel protected. Additionally, how can we make sure that the men and women who risk their lives everyday are protected? NBCSL is calling for investigations into police training practices nationwide to guarantee that police officers are policing and not committing acts of violence against citizens. This training should also include ways to build and strengthen trust between police officers and community members. There won’t be a one size fits all solution to this problem, but we will work to end the problem that is affecting this country.”


The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) primary mission is to develop, conduct and promote educational, research and training programs designed to enhance the effectiveness of its members, as they consider legislation and issues of public policy which impact, either directly or indirectly upon "the general welfare" of African American constituents within their respective jurisdictions.
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