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NAACP Legal Defense Fund & Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Condemn Killing of NYPD Officers and Shooting of Baltimore Civilian

For Immediate Release December 20, 2014

Contact:
Rahwa Andemichael
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
[email protected]
202-662-8347 

Calvin Fortenberry
NAACP Legal Defense Fund
[email protected]
212-965-2268646-531-4299

Washington, DC, December 20, 2014-Today’s fatal shooting of two police officers in New York is shocking and tragic. The NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law extend their condolences to the families and colleagues of both officers, and we stand with the residents of New York City in mourning this senseless loss of life.  In addition, we extend our sympathies to the Baltimore victim who was seriously injured by the same assailant. 

These two killings and the life-threatening injury, like so many other unfortunate incidences of gun violence, provide a stark example of the need for sensible gun control measures, and the need to thoughtfully address untreated mental illness. 

While some may suggest a causal link between these killings and the recent protests and activism focused on the serious issue of police violence against unarmed African Americans, we caution against escalating an already tense national state through rumor and conjecture. Whatever motivation lay in the apparently troubled mind of the now deceased shooter of these officers, there is no connection between the peaceful protests of thousands of people of all races all over the country and, indeed, around the world, and this hideous act of violence.

As stewards of civil and human rights, we continue to seek a productive and open dialogue about ways to improve relations between communities of color and law enforcement and remain unwavering in our demand for accountability when any innocent lives are taken.  For now, we pause in respectful sympathy with the families of the two officers who lost their lives today in this senseless act of violence and extend our wishes for the speedy recovery of the surviving victim. 

About The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
The 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 Lawyers' Committee celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013 as it continued its quest of "Moving America Toward Justice." The principal mission of the Lawyers' Committee is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice under law, particularly in the areas of fair housing and fair lending, community development, employment, voting, education and environmental justice.

For more information about the Lawyers' Committee, visit www.lawyerscommittee.org.

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