EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – The president of Evansville’s NAACP branch, Reverend Gerald Arnold, has released a statement after the death of Daunte Wright.
It is time to put an end to the horrors of police brutality and a criminal justice system that fails to properly hold law enforcement officials accountable. This is long overdue and the NAACP is calling for an end to qualified immunity that presents law enforcement officials from being brought to Justice.
For generations, black and brown parents have given their children “the talk”—instructing them to never make an abrupt move if stopped by police; always keep your hands where they can be seen; do not even think of talking back to the police—all out of fear of how an officer with a gun will react to them.
We must not pretend that the countless people who are routinely targeted by police are “isolated incidents.” The resulting death of so many young Black individuals reminds us that we are past “the canary in the coal mine” stage-we can’t breathe. We must recognize that unlawful police stops threaten the lives of Black people and erodes the Civil Liberties of everyone.
Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Sam DuBose, Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, . . . . The litany of Black people who have lost their lives at the hands of the police or in police custody seems endless. The legal system continues to fail. Police officers, one after the other, are not charged or they are acquitted despite overwhelming visible evidence to the contrary. Instead, these problem police officers are given paid time off and even full pension rather than being held accountable.
Remarkably, the latest killing of Daunte Wright occurred just a few miles from where George Floyd was killed a year ago and where the trial of the police officer is taking place. Another Black man dies at the hands of the police who are supposed to protect and serve.
In the interest of true justice we must end qualified immunity.
(This story was originally published on April 18, 2021)