API Equality-LA stands with those calling for justice for Michael Brown. The failure to achieve a grand jury indictment of police officer Darren Wilson for killing Michael Brown is yet another indication that our criminal justice system must be reformed. This result is further proof that the system as a whole does not work for those locked out of the circles of power, perhaps least of all for the African American community. Moreover, this unjust result is the culmination of a litany of racialized injustices: from Ferguson’s installation of a disproportionately white police force over a disproportionately African American community; to the normalization of a culture of over-policing, excessive force and racial profiling in the African American community; to the use of prosecutorial discretion and the grand jury as a means to skirt policy accountability, to the government’s circle-the-wagons approach to fend off community demands for justice; to the whittling away of all our 4th Amendment rights under the US Constitution and the featherweight standards for probable cause, to the racist perception that all African American men are criminals. Any way you cut it, there was injustice here. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
As API LGBT people and allies, we cannot stand on the sidelines. Many in our communities have also been subject to similar unjust targeting and violence and we understand the need to change our broken criminal justice system. So what next, you may be asking? API Equality-LA encourages you to support ongoing efforts calling for accountability for Michael Brown’s death (colorofchange.com) and calls for police accountability (https://www.aclu.org/aclu-response-ferguson), as well as local efforts seeking criminal justice system reform.
Also we’ll share upcoming opportunities to take action. You can also send an email to us to let us know you want to get more involved in efforts to engage in criminal justice reform issues.