100 Black Men of America extends its condolences to the families of Tyre King, Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott who were fatally killed during encounters with police officers. Although the circumstances in each instance are different, the loss felt by these travesties is not.
Human life is and must be sacred. Whenever anyone is killed, we should all grieve the loss of the individual and the potential contributions that will never be realized, especially when the life is taken by someone who is sworn and entrusted to protect and serve the very life taken. 100 Black Men of America continues to be incensed as we witness yet another series of law enforcement officers demonstrating their total disrespect for black lives. According to the Washington Post data base, in July Philando Castile was the 506th fatal police shooting by an on-duty officer in 2016. The number has now risen to over 700.
There is strong sentiment that each of these encounters could have been resolved without the use of deadly force! 100 Black Men of America stands with the families and communities in the demand for independent and transparent investigations.
As these travesties in our communities continue seemingly unabated, our chapter network will continue to implement and champion sustainable change. We have held conversations, hosted meetings and forums, developed activities and trainings and leveraged our influence with our youth, law enforcement, community members, and federal, state and local leaders to realize change. We have been successful in advancing the implementation of community policing, bias training, use of force guidelines and federal task force recommendations in cities that we serve. Yet, if law enforcement agencies continue to fail to take swift actions to adopt tools, policies and procedures that hold their officers more accountable, we will continue to see this type of appalling use of deadly force and unconscionable loss of life.
We urge community members across the country to engage in productive, deliberate and effective activities that yield real solutions to the very real problem of black men not surviving encounters with law enforcement. Leverage your influence to schedule and participate in meetings with your local leadership to advocate for sustainable change and hold them accountable for taking actions consistent with the recommendations included in the President’s Report on 21st Century Community Policing before another husband, father, brother, son, student, family and community member suffers a similar fatal encounter.