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National Civil and Human Rights Groups Host Audio Press Conference Call “Baltimore, Ferguson and Beyond: The Crisis of Race and Policing”

For Immediate Release May 1, 2015

Contacts:

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

National Civil and Human Rights Groups Host Audio Press Conference Call “Baltimore, Ferguson and Beyond: The Crisis of Race and Policing”May 1, 2015, 11:30 a.m. ET
Dial In Number:  800-862-9098;
Meeting ID:  REFORM;
Program Title:  POLICE REFORM AND ACCOUNTABILITY

#Unity4Justice

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, May 1, 2015, the Civil Rights Coalition on Police Reform will host an audio press conference call featuring national human and civil rights leaders and community activists to discuss the national epidemic of police brutality and misconduct on the heels of Freddie Gray’s death in Baltimore.  Speakers will also discuss necessary nationwide reforms and solutions, including action steps, such as economic empowerment, which can be implemented in their communities.  Speakers will share resources and information and renew call for accountability.

WHEN: Friday, May 1, 2015, 11:30 a.m. ET

WHAT: Audio press conference call addressing ongoing killings and brutality of African American men, women and youth by police officers nationwide; policing reforms; and accountability.

WHO:National civil and human rights partner organizations and leaders listed below on behalf of the Civil Rights Police Reform Coalition and those who care about police brutality, misconduct and necessary reforms.

Rev. Aundreia Alexander, National Council of Churches of Christ, USA
Barbara Arnwine, President and Executive Director, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Rev. Dr. Cornell Brooks, President and CEO, NAACP
Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
Pamela Meanes, President, National Bar Association
David Rocah, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU of Maryland
Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., President and CEO, Hip Hop Caucus

Background on Coalition
A coalition of 14 national civil and human rights organizations and leaders issued a Unified Statement of Action to Promote Reform and Stop Police Abuse on August 18th, which cited clear and necessary recommendations and reforms. We will continue to work together to ensure that all of our recommendations and reforms are adopted and justice is brought to bear in Ferguson and nationwide.  Seven additional groups and more than 700 independent signatories have joined the open letter which was sent to the White House and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

We reiterate our call for transparency, accountability, leadership, and training, including: 

  • Passage of the End Racial Profiling Act (Maryland’s Senator Ben Cardin and
  • Michigan’s Representative John Conyers reintroduced the End Racial Profiling Act on April 22, 2015)
  • A full accounting of police-involved killings of African Americans nationwide;Mandatory racial bias and sensitivity training for all law enforcement personnel;
  • The required use of police officer Body-Worn Cameras (BWC) to record every police-civilian encounter;
  • Better accountability of the use and potential distribution and use of federal military weapons by local law enforcement;
  • Greater oversight of police officers through the formation of both national and community-based policing commissions; and
  • Grand jury reform.

Note to Media:  Please RSVP to [email protected] by May 1st at 10 a.m.

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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