Statement On The Recent Officer-Involved Shootings / Use of Excessive Force

In the past few months, we have all watched in shock and disbelief as precious lives have been taken from African Americans as a result of police brutality.

We are outraged by these tragic events!

The horrific killing of George Floyd, preserved on video, the police shooting of Breonna Taylor and the beating of Marvia and Derek highlight the systemic wrongs in our justice system when it involves African Americans.

George Floyd had a family. Breonna Taylor had a family. And because of the actions of these officers, they will never have the opportunity to see their loved ones again and live out their dreams.

Being a member of an ethnic minority in the U.S. should not be a death sentence nor be used as a cause for arbitrary and unjustified use of power by our government.

African Americans should not have to live in fear of getting murdered or be looked at as prospective criminals because of the color of their skin.

We must call attention to these wrongs in our justice system and address the historic, persistent, and widespread nature of police brutality. African Americans are dying and are being harmed in their communities, and police are often not held accountable for excessive force and deaths that could have been prevented.

“Recent news stories like the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky and the beating of Marvia and Derek Gray in Des Peres, MO, break our hearts, spark deep rage, and deepen our commitment to equal justice in our state and nation. We will be carefully reading the Vehicle Stops Report data due to be released by Attorney General Schmitt around June 1,” said Jeanette Mott Oxford, Director of Policy and Organizing at Empower Missouri.

Like the majority of our U.S. residents, we are tired of seeing our national and local media platforms flooded with injustice. We have reached a critical moment in history. Our communities, along with our federal, state and local governments must channel the anger and pain of these horrific events and turn them into meaningful dialogue that will help people heal, improve relationships between African Americans and police, and make communities safer.

“It is long past time to strengthen current law to demand accountability when police departments cannot satisfactorily explain disparities in police stops and other actions that correlate to race and ethnicity. That is an important first step in changing the culture in law enforcement agencies, and we thank Rep. Shamed Dogan for the legislation he has filed addressing this,” Oxford added.

When we all do better, we ALL do better.

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