Washington, D.C. — CAP President and CEO Neera Tanden released a statement today on the recent police shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota:
In what is an all-too-common occurrence in our country, the nation is dealing with the news that two more African American men were shot and killed by police officers under what are suspicious circumstances at best. The death of Alton Sterling followed so closely by Philando Castile—both videotaped in part—has once again rocked our notion of what it means to have liberty and justice for all. Coming in the wake of the deaths of Michael Brown, Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, and other African Americans at the hands of the police or in police custody, it is clear that we, as a nation, must do more to ensure that all our communities are treated equally and respected by our institutions. Steps must be taken to make certain that Americans have faith that the U.S. law enforcement and judicial system is fair, just, and accountable and there to serve and protect them.
While all the facts are not known in either case, there is certainly enough known via videotaped accounts to demand a thorough investigation. We commend the U.S. Department of Justice, or DOJ, for swiftly intervening in the Baton Rouge case, and we join Gov. Mark Dayton (D) in calling for the DOJ to begin an independent investigation into the Castile shooting.
We can and must do better. Our very lives depend on it.
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