Civil Rights Organizations Respond to Congressional Failure on Policing Reform
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Janessa Sambola-Harris, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, [email protected]
Lacy Crawford, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law [email protected]
Angelo Greco, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation [email protected], (917) 499-2688
Niambé Tomlinson, National Urban League, [email protected], (202) 629-5750
Avery Rose Royster, National Action Network, [email protected], (203) 668-7509
Marc Banks, NAACP, [email protected], (410) 580-5701
Phoebe Plagens, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, [email protected], (212) 965-2200
WASHINGTON — Leading civil rights organizations released the following joint statement after bipartisan negotiations around the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act were ended:
“It is absolutely unacceptable that more than a year after George Floyd was killed and millions took to the streets worldwide to demand an end to police brutality and the systemic criminalization of Black and Brown communities, congressional leaders failed to deliver meaningful legislation that would begin to address this nation’s longstanding history of violent, discriminatory policing. The determination and commitment of Senator Cory Booker and Congresswoman Karen Bass to work across the aisle to reach a consensus on this critical civil rights legislation are much appreciated.
“In the 2020 election, voters came out in record numbers to support candidates who promised meaningful police accountability. We urge leaders at all levels of government, especially the 117th Congress and the Biden administration, to find pathways to advance policy measures that will hold law enforcement accountable for misconduct and transform policing practices and policies. We will continue to fight and advocate for legislation worthy of George Floyd’s name. That must include measures to end qualified immunity; prohibit racial profiling; strengthen the ability of the Department of Justice to bring criminal civil rights actions against officers; create a national registry of police misconduct complaints; end the transfer of military-grade equipment to state and local law enforcement; and restrict funds from law enforcement agencies that do not prohibit the use of chokeholds and other restrictive maneuvers.
“To meet this moment, we demand transformative change that will keep our families and communities safe and end the systemic racism that permeates our criminal legal system.”
This statement was signed by the following organizations:
Wade Henderson, interim president and CEO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Damon Hewitt, president and executive director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Derrick Johnson, president and CEO, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF)
Reverend Al Sharpton, president and founder, National Action Network
Melanie Campbell, president and CEO, The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, The Black Women’s Roundtable
Johnetta Betsch Cole, national chair and president, National Council of Negro Women
Marc H. Morial, president and CEO, National Urban League
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and hate crimes. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org.
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.
Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP.
NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund, also referred to as the NAACP-LDF, was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but separated in 1957 to become a completely separate entity. It is recognized as the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization, and shares our commitment to equal rights.
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
National Action Network (NAN) is one of the leading civil rights organizations in the Nation, with chapters throughout the entire United States. Founded in 1991 by Reverend Al Sharpton, NAN works within the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to promote a modern civil rights plan that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, nationality or gender.
The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) is one of the most active civil rights and social justice organizations in the nation “dedicated to increasing civic engagement, economic and voter empowerment in Black America.” The Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR) is the women and girls’ empowerment and power building arm of the NCBCP. At the forefront of championing just and equitable public policy on behalf of Black women, BWR promotes their health and wellness, economic security & prosperity, education and global empowerment as key elements for success.
National Council of Negro Women, Inc. (NCNW) is a Washington, D.C.-based charitable organization making a difference in the lives of women, children, and families through a four-pronged strategy that emphasizes entrepreneurship, health equity, STEAM education, and civic engagement. Founded 85 years ago, NCNW has 300 community and campus-based sections and thirty-two national affiliates representing more than Two Million women and men. NCNW’s programs are grounded on a foundation of critical concerns known as Four for the Future. NCNW promotes education with a particular focus on science, technology, engineering, and math; encourages entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and economic stability; educates women about good health and HIV/AIDS; promotes civic engagement and advocates for sound public policy and social justice. NCNW is known for its work to educate college age women about HIV/AIDs and for producing the Black Family Reunion. Current programs include GirlTech, HBCU College Fair, Millennial Entrepreneurs and Adulting 101. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Ph.D., is the National Chair and Seventh President of NCNW. NCNW has campaigned for clean water for Flint, MI, voting rights, and SNAP benefits. For more information please visit www.ncnw.org or NCNW’s social channels via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.
The National Urban League is a historic civil rights organization dedicated to economic empowerment in order to elevate the standard of living in historically underserved urban communities. The National Urban League spearheads the efforts of its 90 local affiliates through the development of programs, public policy research and advocacy, providing direct services that impact and improve the lives of more than 2 million people annually nationwide. Visit www.nul.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @NatUrbanLeague and @NULPolicy.