AFRICAN AMERICAN COALITION OF INDIANAPOLIS – AACI
Indianapolis, IN, May 22, 2020 –
Since the beginning of this year, our community has dealt with too many traumatic events.
We have experienced a surge in violence leading to over 40 African Americans murdered including 3 juveniles. We know that both 16-year old Nya Cope and 8-year old Rodgerick Payne Jr. were killed by stray bullets. IMPD officer Breann Leath was murdered while serving in the line of duty. More recently the police action shootings of Dreasjon Reed and Mchale Rose have strained police and community relations.
This has all occurred while facing the consequences of a public health crisis. But even in these trying times, there are things that should not happen.
Threatening law enforcement officers and their families is intolerable. As some suggest, doing so is not ‘protest language’.
Also, suggesting that youth should be taught to ambush police puts youth, our most precious gift, in grave danger. Our responsibility is to protect our youth; not to put them in harm’s way. We strongly condemn this behavior.
We must also emphasize that a law enforcement officer should never promote an “us” versus “them” mentality or offer veiled threats toward the community. This sense of terror only adds to the historical trauma that our community has experienced and places a continuous strain on police and community relations. The thought that sworn police officers are not subject to the same justice system we all must use is both dangerous and unprofessional. Our community will never accept threats of violence from anyone representing a police organization including the FOP.
We continue to promote the language and value of accountability of the police department, elected and established leadership, and the community. We need to engage in vigorous debate, and even protest while maintaining respect for the ambitions of impacted families and monitoring the machinery of justice. We commit to do more than complain about systems, we must invest in training and organizing efforts that make the changes that align with our Black Agenda and Social Contract.
As our community continues to heal, it is incumbent on each of us to provide space for sharing frustrations, unresolved grief and anger. While doing so, we must also remain mindful of our collective responsibility to use language and actions that informs, empowers and helps rather than seeking to intimidate one another.
Indianapolis Urban League
Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis
Exchange at the Indianapolis Urban League
Indiana Black Expo
Purpose for My Pain
Young Men, Inc.
National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Indianapolis Chapter
National Council of Negro Women, Indianapolis Section
100 Black Men of Indianapolis
The Black Men’s Group
Indianapolis Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc. Alpha Alpha Omega Indianapolis Alumni Chapter
Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance
About the African American Coalition
The African American Coalition of Indianapolis (AACI) is a non-partisan collaboration of African-American civic, social, professional, service and community organizations with a goal to educate and engage African Americans in the local, state and national political process.