When Will a Black Life Matter?

100 Black Men of America, Inc. Responds To Attorney General Jeff Landry’s Decision Not To Prosecute In the Death of Alton Sterling.


by Thomas W. Dortch, Jr.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry announced at a news conference today, almost 11 months after the United States Department of Justice declined to bring charges in the death of Mr. Alton B. Sterling, that the two officers involved will not be charged. Once again, another African American mother, family and community are wrestling with the reality that there are people in this country that just do not care about the life of a person of color.

The 100 Black Men care about the life of Alton Sterling. Mr. Sterling was selling CD’s in front of a convenience store, with the permission of the owner. Leading up to the fatal moment, he stood in the exact position where he sold CD’s each day. He was a father and well known in the community. The shooting was captured on video and rebroadcast to the world. The civil rights of Alton Sterling, like far too many before him, were yet again viewed as not being violated.

Black and brown persons, especially men and boys, have always been brutalized and murdered in our country. Now
that we have videophones recording these executions, making them available for constant viewing, are people becoming desensitized? When will the tears of a black mother or grandmother carry the same sadness and pain as the tears of a white mother? When will city, county, state, and federal governments hold police accountable for what is clearly visible to rational, moral people who are exhausted seeing live executions taking place in America, by individuals sworn to protect citizens.

“Community and elected official must always move swiftly to remove those who don’t protect the rights of the people they were elected to serve,” stated Thomas W. Dortch, Jr., Chairman, 100 Black Men of America, Inc. “I speak on behalf of the Baton Rouge Chapter of the 100 Black Men and all members across our global network. We do not condemn the police as a whole but officers who betray the public trust must be held accountable.”

As an organization, the 100 has an extensive history with N.O.B.L.E. and the two groups have worked together for over a quarter of a century. Many members of N.O.B.L.E. are also members of the 100 Black Men. “Our communities are filled with law enforcement families that include moms, dads, sibling, grandparents, aunts and uncles who are dedicated police officers,” stated Dortch.

The 100 has collaborated with N.O.B.LE. to hold public forums and mentee training on many subjects including reducing fatal shootings, training officers in de-escalation tactics, educating youth on actions that create confrontation, and much more. The 100 is not an anti law enforcement organization. It is a leading organization that mentors and empowers youth and the communities in which they live, thrive and grow to become positive contributor across America and the world. It is a goal of the organization to work with local, state and federal officials to ensure that all citizens, even those that look like members of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. are able to live, thrive, grow and experience the constitutional rights afforded to all Americans.