SEPTEMBER 23, 2020
Washington, D.C. — The NAACP released the following statement regarding Louisville city official’s decision to indict one police officer in connection with the murder of Breonna Taylor:
The injustice we’re witnessing at this moment can be sensed throughout the nation. Kentucky’s Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s failure to bring substantial charges against the officers who murdered Breonna Taylor causes angst and pain for far too many Americans still reeling from a pandemic. The charges of wanton endangerment in connection with the murder of Breonna Taylor does not go far enough and is a miscarriage of justice for her family and the people of Louisville. Atrocities committed against the people of this country by the authorities cannot and should not go unanswered when miscalculations are made. The continuous and blatant failure of a system sworn to protect the very citizens it endangers is all too telling of its efficiency and viability.
The justice system failed Breonna Taylor and, as such, failed us. From the officers’ ill-informed conduct to the city official’s delayed response, their actions have discredited their pledge and responsibility to the greater community. It is unacceptable that, once again, culpability has eluded those guilty of state-sanctioned murder.
In this case, and countless others, we must ask ourselves and those elected to serve, “Who is responsible for this system and its outcomes?” We must demand that our system of justice holds people working within it accountable. Black lives cannot continue to be considered collateral damage in these instances. The recent announcement of one indictment against the police officer Brett Hankison proves city officials believe otherwise.
This devastating blow to the community of Louisville and the nation is heart-wrenching. Our efforts to realize justice for Breonna Taylor should be redirected to bring attention to the faulty and burdensome justice system that compromises our society’s moral and humane fabric. Our course of action is to vote and make it abundantly clear that we will not tolerate the injustice we’re observing. Far too many Black lives have been lost due to the egregious malpractice of police officers, elected officials, and the justice system as a whole. We must press forward in our pursuit of dismantling oppressive ideologies that plague our country so we can reach parity and equity on all fronts.
Founded in 1909 in response to the ongoing violence against Black people around the country, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is the largest and most pre-eminent civil rights organization in the nation. We have over 2,200 units and branches across the nation, along with well over 2M activists. Our mission is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP.
NOTE: The Legal Defense Fund – also referred to as the NAACP-LDF was founded in 1940 as a part of the NAACP, but separated in 1957 to become a completely separate entity. It is recognized as the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and shares our commitment to equal rights.