Our hearts go out to the families of Amhaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.
YWCA joins others whom we know are deeply troubled by the lack of accountability for unjustified police violence against individuals and communities of color. These are not isolated incidents. These senseless deaths at the hands of police officers must stop and it’s time the Department of Justice prosecuted these crimes.
Our nation has a history of taking the murder of people of color lightly. We strongly support the launch of a federal criminal civil rights investigation and we demand that the criminal justice system employ the same standards of accountability regardless of the race of the victims and the perpetrators.
“Communities of color experience disproportionately high rates of unnecessary and excessive force by law enforcement. Racial profiling and the overall criminalization of communities of color reinforce dangerous behavior and lead to dire consequences for those who are targeted,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, CEO, YWCA USA. “We must end racial profiling and demand police accountability. Data collection, training, and community-informed policing are all steps in the right direction. In our justice systems, in our media, and our interactions with one another, we can all work to dismantle hate, injustice, and biases that contribute to the criminalization of communities of color. Everyone deserves equal protection under the law, and we must take real steps to ensure that happens.”
YWCA is committed to ensuring that everyone is afforded equal protection under the law. Too often, stereotypes, biases, and racial power dynamics are embedded in our laws and public policies. They are also reflected in the use of racial profiling, heightened surveillance tactics, targeted enforcement strategies, and other practices that increase policing of certain racial and ethnic communities (but not others) that lead to criminalization and often the death of people of color.
At YWCA, we demand a world of equity and human decency. We envision a world of opportunity. We commit ourselves to the work of racial justice. We will get up and continue to do the work until injustice is rooted out, until institutions are transformed, until the world sees women, girls, and people of color the way we do: Equal. Powerful. Unstoppable.