The grand jurys’ decisions in Missouri and New York do not negate the fact that the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner are part of an alarming trend of officers using excessive force against people of color, often during routine encounters. Yet in most cases, the officers and police departments are not held accountable. While many officers carry out their jobs with respect for the communities they serve, we must confront the profound disconnect and disrespect that many communities of color experience with their local law enforcement.
The ACLU will continue to fight for racial justice. To build trust, we must have a democratic system where our communities have an equal say in the way their neighborhoods are policed. Collaboration, transparency, and communication between police and communities around the shared goals of equality, fairness, and public safety pave the path forward.
There are children in cages along the U.S.-Mexico border right now. And more are showing up every day. Under our laws, we do not turn away unaccompanied kids who come here fleeing violence. The Constitution is not expendable. Its principles define us as a nation. We must stay true to them.