Washington, D.C. — Today, Neera Tanden, Center for American Progress President, and former Gov. Ted Strickland (D-OH), Center for American Progress Action Fund President, issued the following statements on the grand jury’s decision on whether to indict Officer Darren Wilson:
Neera Tanden, Center for American Progress President:
While we respect the work and the decision of the grand jury in Ferguson, today’s news reminds us that, for too many people in our nation, the place they call home is not the safe haven it should be; that the trust we rely on between neighbors and between police and the citizens they have sworn to protect is still broken in many communities. For centuries, we have worked to live by the values on which the country was founded, but we have always understood that it is a work in progress. On days like today, it is clear how much work we still have left to do to ensure that the opportunity to prosper is not based on one’s ZIP code and treatment by the criminal justice system is not determined by one’s race. We must recommit to doing that work together if we are going to weather these challenges and rebuild our fractured communities.
Former Gov. Ted Strickland (D-OH), Center for American Progress Action Fund President:
Too many of our communities have been divided by our failure to ensure that all Americans are treated equally by our judicial and legal systems. As a former governor, I know the responsibility we have to build inclusive communities where families thrive and where compassion, not fear, is the core value. After today’s decision, our work is to ensure that Ferguson serves as a model for the nation on how to bridge the divide and rebuild in a way that creates a government and justice system reflective of the community it serves. But leaders must not just reflect the community, they must be a part of it, and the entirety of the community must have a role in who those leaders are. It is only through this path that we can continue forming a more perfect union.
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