Washington, D.C. (June 2, 2020) – The NAACP and The Links, Incorporated are releasing a joint statement to express their strong support of the collective outrage and calls for policing reform expressed by residents all over the country in response to the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers and the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others at the hands of current or former law enforcement officers. The nationwide protests represent the anger, pain, fear, and distrust directed toward law enforcement resulting from decades of brutality against African Americans.
For too long, law enforcement and the criminal justice system at large has racially profiled, arrested, convicted, and sentenced African Americans more harshly than the rest of America. As George Floyd’s killing tragically demonstrates, any interaction between an African American and law enforcement can instantaneously become deadly. We will not rest until all the officers involved in these incidents are arrested, charged and convicted. We must ensure that justice is served in each and every case.
The nation’s collective condemnation of police violence against the Black community represents a watershed moment. This is the time for systemic changes to policing in this country. We need federal, state, and local reforms which impose strict police accountability, limit the use of force, eliminate racial profiling, de-militarize law enforcement, track and report data, and ensure proper screening, education and training of all officers. Local law enforcement agencies receive federal funding and must be made to comply with federal civil rights laws.
Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP: “Enough is enough. The entire country has reached its limit in terms of deadly police practices. We cannot allow one more Black person to die at the hands of government. Our #WeAreDoneDying campaign is aimed at eliminating racial disparities that are harming our communities and taking our lives. Nowhere is there more systemic injustice than in law enforcement’s treatment of the Black community it is charged with guarding and protecting. We must seize this moment to eliminate racism from policing and to hold every officer accountable for his or her actions.”
Kimberly Jeffries Leonard, Ph.D., National President, The Links, Incorporated: “Our community has reached its breaking point. We cannot take one more death based on race, one more unjust sentence or one more denial of our civil and human rights. The time to speak is now. We must let those in power know that daily rights—jogging, buying personal items, or just sleeping in our home— should not end in a death sentence for Black people. The Links, Incorporated and our 16,000+ members are committed to ensuring the survival of our communities of African descent and the change necessary to do so. We stand with the NAACP’s call for the United Nations to classify the mistreatment of Black people in the United States by the police a human rights violation. We call for incident oversight by review boards and human rights commissions and the use of body cameras for all officers. We can no longer delay action. Our collective voice can make a difference. Enough is truly enough. #LinksCallToJustice.”
About the NAACP
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas here.
About The Links, Incorporated
The Links, Incorporated consists of more than 16,000 professional women of color in 288 chapters located in 41 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, and the United Kingdom. It is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations of extraordinary women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans and other persons of African ancestry. For more information, visit www.linksinc.org.