LGBT Civil Rights Group Reacts To Missouri Grand Jury Decision

Now is the time to organize and educate the masses on police brutality, militarization and criminal justice reform

Source: NBJC

The National Black Justice Coalition, the nation’s leading civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Black LGBT people, issued a statement in response to the Ferguson, Missouri Grand Jury decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown on August 9. 2014.

“I speak as a Black mother of a Black toddler boy who will one day grow up and learn that he lives in a nation where his very existence is a threat. As a parent, I will have to instruct him on how to properly conduct himself in front of law enforcement because one perceived wrong motion or non-submissive remark towards a police officer could serve him to be fatal. I will need to teach him about the legacy of Black lives eliminated due to physical and systematic violence that is too often justified by the law itself,” states NBJC Executive Director & CEO, Sharon Lettman-Hicks. NBJC’s mission is to end racism and homophobia.

“Like so many in our nation, particularly in Black communities, we at NBJC are beyond saddened and heartbroken that there will not be an indictment in the Michael Brown shooting death. Once again, the life of a Black child has been taken and the process to render justice has failed us. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Brown family as they will never see the criminal and public trial of the officer who shot 12 times at their child and ultimately killed him,” she adds.

Lettman-Hicks went on to say that as the implications of the grand jury’s decision continue to settle in and the details of the proceedings come to light, emphasizing that change will only come when we demand it. She made a reference to “Bloody Sunday”, nearly 50 years ago, which was about winning a federal act on voting.

On “Bloody Sunday,” March 7, 1965, some 600 civil rights marchers for voting rights registration headed out from Selma to the state capital of Montgomery, Alabama, only to face a blockade of state troopers and to be driven back by local policemen who attacked them with billy clubs and tear gas, according to various historical accounts. National television coverage of the event triggered national outrage. Two other marches with thousands of protestors led by Martin Luther King Jr. were to follow, the third with federal protection. On August 6, 1965, the federal Voting Rights Act was passed.

Now is the time that we must use this injustice to galvanize our communities to take action by non-violently protesting and making our voices heard in this nation, stresses Lettman-Hicks.

“We have to organize and educate the masses on vital issues like police brutality, militarization, criminal justice reform and profiling of all forms. Most importantly, we must use our collective access to the ballot box to elect leaders that will take action to build a more just nation, free of bias and bigotry.”

4 Responses to LGBT Civil Rights Group Reacts To Missouri Grand Jury Decision

  1. Pingback: LGBT Civil Rights Group Speaks Out On Missouri Grand Jury Decision | Afro Universe

  2. Pingback: LGBT Civil Rights Group Reacts To Missouri Grand Jury Decision | Crystal Gorham

  3. www.scheißland.com says:

    Das scheißlandische Justizsystem stinkt zum Himmel!! Zwar nicht für Schwarze, wieviel Farbige waren in der Jury? Alles nicht güt innen scheißland… Please having people standing against these amerikanische Justizsystem must have! -www.scheissland.com

  4. Onesphor Kyara says:

    Killer, Garner Chocker and Police Physical Dis-Qualification

    Lilliput Island of Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s
    Travels: That was what the two
    diminutive policemen out of the four involved in subduing Garner reminded me.
    The least “physically” qualified copita
    could only contribute by going after the most vulnerable and safe part of his Gulliver’s anatomy – the windpipe. It
    was the only part he could contribute, while the “men” handled manhandled him.
    Incidentally, policing is the only contact profession where size matters the
    most. Nonetheless, the Lilliputian has every right to be in the force that does
    not exclude anyone irrespective of race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity
    and, in his case, height and physical qualification.

    The Vatican City Swiss Guards have to be
    at least 5’ 9’’ tall, aged between 19 and 30; thus, the emphasis is physical
    strength to effectively perform their duties. Police academies in America
    usually require an applicant to be 5’ 7’’ tall, and 140 to 180 pounds in weight.
    However, it is one thing to qualify for the academy, and different story when
    it comes to apprehending a suspect in “tough” parts of a city. The problem is
    complicated by the multiracial and multiethnic society like America, with a
    gentle giant from Birmingham, AL, and a pint size lad of Vietnamese descent in
    downtown St. Paul, MN.

    Although the minimum height requirement
    to join the military is lower, about 4’10’’ for females and males, the nature
    of their mission is somewhat different: A military fellow goes after an
    obviously armed nameless foreigner located at a distance; a cop goes after
    unarmed, or covertly armed, namable and identifiable fellow citizen. Whereas the ultimate goal of a soldier is to
    kill, the manifest mission of a policeman is to prevent death. Preserving life
    of one’s own is physically and emotionally more taxing than taking out the life
    of the indifferent “other.”

    Unfortunately, some of the members of
    the police forces are not physically qualified to face suspects of Brown’s and Garner’s
    size of any race or ethnicity. And like
    a cornered black mamba, a scared diminutive cop with a badge and a gun (snake’s
    poison) is the most dangerous organism in that particular space and time
    frames. I don’t know about you, but if I face a short cop with probable
    Napoleonic Complex, I will hit the ground first, and ask questions later. I can
    risk arguing with a cop of my size and expect to come to some understanding. Not
    with a Lilliputian!

    Although equal employment opportunity
    policy ought to be applied in virtually every profession, it appears it is not
    applicable when it comes to policing. It is the most contact of “sports.” As such, I would rather deploy Women to the Badlands of Kandahar
    (Afghanistan), and Men to the streets
    of Harlem.

    NYC Mayor suggested retraining could
    solve the problem. He is partly right. What he didn’t say is that training an
    all-rounded policeperson could take even longer than training a doctor,
    probably nine years, instead of a doctor’s seven — or thereabout. A doctor
    deals with a person’s body. A cop deals with the world around a person’s body –
    from internal organs to interpersonal or person-property interactions.

    Standard course in police academies, as
    listed in the “Regular Basic Course (RBC), range from 01: Leadership,
    professionalism and ethics, via criminal justice, economic crimes, arrest and
    control, to 43: Emergency Management. Many more courses are needed in addition
    to the current ones; they include:

    Human anatomy and physiology (body parts, organs and vulnerabilities)

    ii) Physical Anthropology (race-specific
    characteristics – from Irish to Laotian)

    ii) Sociology (formal and informal
    groups, behaviors, dynamics and deviant types)

    iii.) Cultural Anthropology (Cultural
    and sub-cultural/gang behavior)

    iv) Linguistic Anthropology (verbal and
    nonverbal communication, bad gestures)

    Psychology (thought patterns of various individuals and groups

    v) Logic (logical and illogical reasoning,
    explanations, and behaviors)

    Gender studies (male and female mind-sets, perception of reality)

    vii) And on, and on.

    Then again, whom am I kidding! What we have
    witnessed in Ferguson and New York are symptoms of a larger societal problem –
    lack of true democracy from bottom to the top. Neither practical physical
    qualifications, nor enhanced police training, would solve the problem on
    long-term basis. As suggested in my book, “An
    African Student in Russia,” all political organizations from the community level
    to Congress and executive branch need to replicate the gender composition of a family
    unit – male and female equal participation. In essence, there ought to be a balanced
    contribution of both the “fathers” and “mothers” to prevent crime against any
    individual regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, religion and other bases of
    social divisions — victimizers and victims of police brutality included. Progesterone
    is needed at all levels of decision making and action to create a needed
    balance between masculine rational real politicking and feminine sensitivity.

    Hopefully, a female president (which seems unlikely
    in the current definition and consciousness of democracy) would set the
    democratization process in motion – from top to bottom. Prevailing social and
    related problems would henceforth wither away slowly, but surely. Not only at
    home, but also abroad.

    O. Kyara, Ph.D.

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