Kary Moss, Executive Director of the ACLU of Michigan, issued the following statement today in the wake of the recent killings of Philandro Castile and Alton Sterling by police and the sniper attacks on Dallas police officers yesterday: The frightening violence that has unfolded the past few days in Minnesota and Louisiana underscores the urgent need to address police violence and bias in our criminal justice system. Meanwhile, the assault on police officers in Dallas last night further heightens the dire importance of police/community relations grounded in peace and justice. Wanton bloodshed—under any circumstances—cannot be tolerated.
We must move urgently to refashion our criminal system—from ending the school-to-prison pipeline to reversing the mass incarceration of black men—so that we ensure that everyone is treated equally and humanely, address the loss of faith and trust in the fairness of the criminal justice system, and repair the trauma on all our communities that result from incidents such as the fatal shootings of Philandro Castile and Alton Sterling.
It’s past time that Michigan elected officials as well as the law-enforcement community statewide step forward pro-actively and aggressively with policies and practices that assure our community that police officers will be held fully accountable for their actions and guarantee unbiased, independent and transparent investigations.