The black population in the United States is 47.8 million, which is approximately 14.6% of the total population.
In the U.S., African Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by police than white people. For black women, the rate is 1.4 times more likely.
In addition, 1-in-1,000 black youths and men will be killed by police in their lifetime. For white youth and men, the rate is 39 out of 100,000.
The trajectory of police shooting cases has long been determined by police departments themselves, in which they are not able to effectively investigate their own even when caught on camera. Today, an officer gets on the stand and says, “I feared for my life,” and that’s usually all that is needed for no conviction, more often than that, no charges at all.
This is why the protests continues in the case of George Floyd, Breonna, Ahmaud, Eric, Sandra, Michael and the list goes on.
In the case of George Floyd, until the other three officers are charged, the protest will continue. Until law enforcement publicly denounce and bring to justice of those who abuse their authority, the protest will continue. Until true diversity training and improvement in procedures and policies, the protest will continue. Until true leadership is demonstrated at the White House, in federal, state, and local governments to end racist practices, the protest will continue.
The NAACP commends those young people in the city of Lima and other places who protested peacefully. We do not condone vandalism and looting.
In addition, in this time of a health pandemic, we encourage those protesting to practice safety measures to protect themselves and others. We encourage protesters to wear masks and use social distancing.
It also is imperative that we don’t forget the local issues: Tanika Wilson, Ashley Hardy, Kenyatta Session, Dymin Stephenson, Michael Rogers and Brittany Osberry, in which officers were given a pass for their abuse to African-American citizens. In some cases, the same officer or officers were involved. Until change is witnessed in the local police department, the protest continues.
We must continue to use our voices to bring these issues to the forefront locally and nationally.
Pastor Ronald Fails is the NAACP President of Local 3170 in Lima