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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 28 - Volume 42 Issue 48
National LGBT groups react to Ferguson decision
Section One
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National LGBT groups react to Ferguson decision

Pride at Work Executive Director Jerame Davis:
'The decision of the grand jury not to indict Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown feels like a punch in the gut to many. I am one of those who feel like justice failed us tonight.

'I believe in an America where there is no justification for a police officer to discharge 12 rounds at an unarmed teen. I believe in an America where police are expected and required to take every step possible to keep from killing the citizens they are sworn to protect. But most importantly, I believe in an America where black lives matter.

'In the labor movement, we fight every day to make sure everyone is treated with the dignity and respect they deserve on the job and in the public square. Our black brothers and sisters need and deserve a system that doesn't fail them so tragically and with such frequency.'

The National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR):
'We vacillate between heartbreak and outrage at the decision from the grand jury. Injustice is too tame a word for what today's decision represents. The fact that an unarmed black youth can be fatally shot by a police officer with no accountability or consequence is a chilling commentary on the worth afforded to young, black lives and the sorry state of racial justice in this country. We stand with our colleagues in the broader civil rights community in condemning the grand jury decision, and send our strength and support to the family and friends of Michael Brown and the entire Ferguson community as they continue to grieve their tragic loss. We also urge the Department of Justice to take action to address the longstanding history of racialized intimidation and discrimination by the Ferguson police.'

Lambda Legal:
'While there will be debate and disagreement about the facts that led to the grand jury decision announced today in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by Police Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, MO, there is no debate about the facts that a terrible tragedy took place and that another unarmed young black man lost his life at the hands of a police officer. Around the country, we continue to witness similar tragedies and loss of life that have resulted from the deadly combination of racism, police profiling, excessive use of lethal force and a general disregard for the lives of black and brown people.

'We mourn Michael Brown and every victim of police violence by continuing to work for justice - for better policing and fairer laws. As an organization fighting for the rights of LGBT people and people living with HIV, we know that bias and prejudice can lead to injustice. We believe that these issues must be addressed in a systemic way and that regardless of one decision, all of us must be active participants in holding law enforcement agencies accountable for ending the unchecked assault on the lives of all of our communities that are marginalized and criminalized - whether on the basis of race, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression or economic status. We support U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice in the continued investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown and the policing practices in Ferguson.'

Human Rights Campaign (HRC):
'Michael Brown's family and the American people deserve to have this case fully adjudicated in a public trial. Today's deeply disappointing decision by the grand jury denies them that opportunity. Until we as a nation make a meaningful commitment to ending police profiling - and to fully prosecuting individual cases of brutality - the kind of violence that ended Michael Brown's life will only continue. As advocates for equality, it's our job to show solidarity with a growing national movement to break this cycle of police violence. While we cannot begin to imagine the pain that the Brown family is facing at this moment, we send our thoughts, prayers and condolences to them during this heartbreaking and difficult time. We also stand in solidarity with the family's encouragement of peaceful protests and reflection following this decision.'

National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA):
'NQAPIA stands in solidarity with the family of Michael Brown and all those who protest injustice. As LGBT Asian Americans, South Asians, Southeast Asians, and Pacific Islanders, we know too well the pains of those who suffer under unbridled police misconduct and other law enforcement officials. We stand arm in arm with the community of Ferguson to demand justice for Mike Brown. Black lives matter and we do not accept the decision of the Grand Jury.

'Violence perpetrated by state actors in the streets of Ferguson, at immigration detention center, or at the border must be curtailed and the safety and security of all people of color - African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans - and especially young people, immigrants, people of transgender experiences must be safeguarded. Law enforcement agencies must be held accountable to the communities they swore to serve and protect.

'The Grand Jury's refusal to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown is a statement by our Justice System that if you wear a badge, you do not have to be accountable to the same laws as the people in this nation. It is a statement that black lives don't matter and that American judicial system will continue to use two different water fountains: One for those who wear the badge and another for 'colored' people.

'NQAPIA calls on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Ferguson Police Department for systematic civil rights violations. We also call on the U.S. Department of Justice to issue guidance on racial and religious profiling to provide safeguard our communities from state actors.

'NQAPIA calls on our queer Asian community to rise up and protest injustice; to stand in solidarity with the people of Ferguson. Join protests around the nation to demand justice for Mike Brown.'

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