INDIANAPOLIS – Some 14 African-American-based organizations in Indiana’s capital on Friday (July 8) spoke out against the murder of Dallas police officers and the deaths of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minneapolis.
Groups listed as signees to the statement included 100 Black Men of Indianapolis, Baptist Minister’s Alliance, Circle City Chapter of the Links, Incorporated, Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis, EdFit, Exchange at the Indianapolis Urban League, Greater Indianapolis Chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, Greater Indianapolis NAACP Branch, Indiana Black Expo, Indianapolis Urban League, Marion County Bar Association, Martin Luther King Community Center, National Coalition of 100 Black Women/Indianapolis Chapter and OpportunIndy.
The statement said: “We invite the city of Indianapolis to allow their hearts to break with ours over the deaths of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile and Dallas police officers murdered and injured in the line of duty at a rally.
“These incidents occurred as the nation reeled from the senseless murder of members of the LGBT community in Orlando. There have been over 100 police action shootings of Black men across the country this year alone prompting outrage but seemingly no justice.
“It is through tears and frustration, a reverence for the dead, and respect for the impact on the families of the victims and the officers involved that we seek to affirm our aspirations toward healthy and continuously improving police and community relations. We mourn for the loss of life of citizens who mattered to their communities, families and friends.
“Their lives mattered. Black lives matter. We recognize that the police have a difficult job to do and that the majority serve the community well. Police officers are our neighbors, customers, friends and family members.
“It is moments like these that it is most important to remember that the police are the community and that policing should affirm the values of the community-which must include a respect for the dignity of all citizens. We remain mindful of the mistreatment of a youth in Indianapolis by a police officer.
“We also remain mindful of the need to break the code of silence when law enforcement seeks justice for victims of crime. The work of building and maintaining healthy police and community relations continues. The dignity of all members of the community is sacred and when violated we should be able to count on a justice system that works for all.
“Too often, it seems that this has not been the case-which is why our struggle for justice and equity for all continues. We ask that our friends, neighbors and colleagues of all races mourn with us and engage in a dialog on the way forward. Indy is a world class city and must be proactive in ensuring that all of its citizens are not only safe but treated with the dignity they deserve.”