Justice for Philando & Alton

Dear 5849376,

In the last week, we've seen, in horrific detail, the murders of two Black men at the hands of police. The murders of five police officers during a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas only compounded the tragedy.

Eliminating the daily threat to Black lives posed by law enforcement will require systemic change and demands action from all of us. That's why we're joining with our friends at ColorOfChange to demand that the Department of Justice bring charges against the officers who killed Alton Sterling on Tuesday in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile on Wednesday in Falcon Heights.

You can read more about ColorOfChange's campaign and sign on to their petition below.

Thanks for standing up for Blacks lives today,

-- Heidi


Justice for Alton and Philando

5849376,

The pain is unbearable. Like so many of you, I woke up to yet another video of a Black man's death autoplaying in my social media feed--and it feels like we're in a never-ending nightmare.  

Philando Castile's murder comes less than 24 hours after the cops executed Alton Sterling.1 And it's just as devastating, just as infuriating to wake up to this for the second day in a row. The officer shot him four times after pulling him, his girlfriend, and his daughter over for a broken taillight. Philando's girlfriend, Diamond "Lavish" Reynolds, livestreamed the entire incident on Facebook--you can hear the officer screaming at her while she tries to hold it together and her four-year-old daughter says “It’s ok, Mommy. I’m right here with you.”2 Then Diamond was arrested while the police took her child away.

Sign the petition demanding accountability for Philando Castile and Alton Sterling's murders.

Philando Castile complied with the officers' orders. He had a concealed carry permit. The only thing he could've done to avoid being killed was to not be Black yesterday. 

There's a lot we can't make sense of, but one thing is clear after these two hard days: Law and order is not going to save us. Policing in our communities does NOT equal safety. It has been nearly two years since protestors in Ferguson inspired a national outcry for police accountability.3 But our leaders have only increased their investment in the very police departments that are killing us. They do this with body cameras, racially-biased policing software, and ‘Blue Lives Matter’ bills while Black communities deal with the same outcomes of police terror and over-incarceration.4

The Department of Justice still hasn't agreed to launch a federal investigation into Philando's murder--but we're calling on them to bring accountability to the Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights police departments and bring charges in both Alton Sterling's and Philando Castile's cases. Will you sign the petition?

I don't want to wake up to another police killing tomorrow or the day after that. 

-Arisha

P.S. Here's the email we sent yesterday: 


 

CREDO action
Alton Sterling did not deserve to die.

Hv

Tell the Department of Justice: Don't waste any time. Bring charges against the officers that killed Alton Sterling NOW.

Take Action

Dear 5849376, 

Alton Sterling was a 37-year-old Black father of five selling CDs outside of a local store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.5 He did not deserve to die.

Yet here we are again. Another Black man slain by police. Another hashtag carrying the fury and pain of his community. And another family deep in mourning – in the same state that passed the 'Blue Lives Matter' bill to silence protests against police violence.6

News just broke that the FBI and the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division will be leading an independent investigation into his murder – and we have to keep up the pressure until they deliver accountability.7 Will you sign the petition demanding the Department of Justice bring charges against the two officers that killed Alton Sterling?

Tell the Department of Justice: Don't waste any time. Bring charges against the officers that killed Alton Sterling NOW.

On Tuesday night, Alton Sterling was selling CDs outside a local store, like he always does, when police arrived on the scene. The police tased him, held him down on the ground, and shot him in the chest and back. In the witness-recorded video, you can hear the officer shouting "If you f---ing move, I swear to God!"8

The Baton Rouge police pulled a gun out of his pocket after they killed him. However, witness accounts say Sterling was not holding the gun, and his hands were never near his pockets. This is eerily akin to the killing of Eric Garner.9

When Alton Sterling's aunt, Sandra Sterling, heard about the killing and tried to identify her nephew, the Baton Rouge police – showing no remorse for what they had just done – threatened to taser her too.10 These officers have no respect for Black life, and must be held accountable.

Tell the Department of Justice to hold the officers that killed Alton Sterling accountable.

It's no coincidence that Alton Sterling's murder took place in the same state that signed the 'Blue Lives Matter' law designed to feign protection of police instead of actually protecting Black lives – or that Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate across the country.11

In so many ways, Black people are under attack in Louisiana. But an independent investigation by the Department of Justice could mean systemic changes in local policing as well as accountability for Alton Sterling's killers. When the FBI and DOJ took over the Walter Scott investigation, it led to multiple indictments including a murder charge from the state.12 If thousands of us stand up now, we can make sure the Department of Justice brings charges against Alton Sterling's murderers too.

Sign the petition. Demand the Department of Justice ensures accountability for Alton Sterling's murder.

Until Justice is Real,

--Scott, Rashad, Arisha, Clarise, Enchanta and the rest of the ColorOfChange team.

References:

1. "Why Alton Sterling and Philando Castile Are Dead," The Nation, 07-07-2016
https://act.credoaction.com/go/12127?t=10&akid=18877.3291973.XhttmQ

2. "Woman livestreams aftermath of boyfriends fatal shooting by police in Falcon Heights," Twin Cities.com, 07-06-2016 http://act.credoaction.com/go/12128?t=12&akid=18877.3291973.XhttmQ

3. "Ferguson Remembers The Death That Launched A Movement," The Huffington Post, 08-09-2016 http://act.credoaction.com/go/12129?t=14&akid=18877.3291973.XhttmQ

4. "Justice Department Awards Over $23 Million in Funding for Body Worn Camera Pilot Program to Support Law Enforcement Agences in 32 States," The Department of Justice, 09-25-2015 https://act.credoaction.com/go/12130?t=16&akid=18877.3291973.XhttmQ

"Louisiana governor signs 'Blue Lives Matter' bill making offenses against police hate crimes," NY Daily News, 05-27-2016http://act.credoaction.com/go/12131?t=18&akid=18877.3291973.XhttmQ

5. “Alton Sterling, Father of Five--One More Black Man Shot Down By American Police,” The Daily Beast, 07-06-2016 
http://act.credoaction.com/go/12132?t=20&akid=18877.3291973.XhttmQ

6. “Louisiana's 'Blue Lives Matter' Law on Cop Killers is Actually Pretty Redundant,” The Huffington Post, 05-25-2016 
http://act.credoaction.com/go/12133?t=22&akid=18877.3291973.XhttmQ

7. “FBI/DOJ set to take lead on Alton Sterling shooting investigation,” WAFB 9, 07-06-2016 http://act.credoaction.com/go/12134?t=24&akid=18877.3291973.XhttmQ

8. “Alton Sterling, Father of Five--One More Black Man Shot Down By American Police,” The Daily Beast, 07-06-2016 
http://act.credoaction.com/go/12132?t=26&akid=18877.3291973.XhttmQ

9. “Beyond the Chokehold: The Path to Eric Garner's Death,” The New York Times, 06-13-2015 
http://act.credoaction.com/go/12135?t=28&akid=18877.3291973.XhttmQ

10. “Outrage after video captures white Baton Rouge police officer fatally shooting a black man,” The Washington Post, 07-06-2016 
https://act.credoaction.com/go/12136?t=30&akid=18877.3291973.XhttmQ

11. “Prisoners in 2014,” Bureau of Justice Statistics, September 2015 
http://act.credoaction.com/go/12137?t=32&akid=18877.3291973.XhttmQ

12. “Walter Scott family attorney: Federal charges against Michael Slager could be a 'turning point in history,” The Post and Courier, 05-11-2016 
http://act.credoaction.com/go/12138?t=34&akid=18877.3291973.XhttmQ


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