Last night, the world watched and waited for the St. Louis County grand jury decision on whether to indict indict Ferguson, Mo. police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown. Shortly after 9 p.m. ET, St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch gave a press conference in which he announced that the grand jury returned a decision not to indict Officer Wilson, which sparked a wave of protest across the country. In respone, NCLR President and CEO, Janet Murguía issued, the following statement.
“We share the sadness and stand in solidarity with the people of Ferguson, Mo., as well as those throughout our country and especially in communities of color, who were hoping for fairness and accountability in yesterday’s decision. Most of all, we stand with the Brown family, who must continue to wait for justice for their son,” said Murguía. “This case is a stern reminder of how encounters between law enforcement and youth of color can result in excessive force and needless loss of life. As a nation, the implications of continuing on that path are grim and demand action.”
“If this is not to be another setback on our nation’s quest to ensure equal justice for all, then this decision must not be the end, but a beginning,” Murguía continued. “For that to happen, we as a nation need to engage in real and honest dialogue across communities. We need to confront and address both the perception and the reality that communities of color, especially our young men, receive disparate treatment from law enforcement and our criminal justice system. We need to recognize that restoring trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve—as so many cities and areas of our country have done—is essential for the safety and well-being of us all. Then, and only then, can we move forward from this tragic moment.”