Black Publishers Call For Urgent Appointment Of Special Federal Prosecutor On Racially Motivated Police Killings

Washington,  DC:   The nation’slargest tradeassociationof AfricanAmericanownednewspapersand mediacompanies,  the NationalNewspaperPublishersAssociation (NNPA), has issued an urgent call and demand that President Barack H. Obama andU.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynchappoint a Special Federal Prosecutorin the wake of the policekillings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota.  The NNPA also expresses sincere condolences to thefamilies of the police officers who were unjustly killed in Dallas, Texas.

Dr. BenjaminF. Chavis, Jr., President & CEO of the NNPA, stated the following:

“The killings of African Americans in Louisiana and Minnesota during the past week represent an   escalating national pattern of fatal police killings that appear to be racially motivated.

These incidents are not isolated local tragedies, but are the terrible growing manifestations of a deadly national system of racism in the criminal justice system that needs to beeffectively challenged and changed.  There are today too many African American families and communities that continue to endure police brutality and fatal violence across the United States. This is a national crisis that demands immediatefederal intervention tobothinvestigateand to prosecutepoliceofficers who commit these wanton raciallymotivatedkillings.”

“We, therefore, demand that a Special Federal Prosecutor be immediately appointed by the United States Department of Justice. To date, unfortunately, local investigations andprosecutions have been ineffective and have not insured equal justice.  The Special Federal Prosecutor has to be independent and impartial. We have heard from many our NNPA member publishers throughout the nation who all expressed profound disgust and moral outrage about these brutalities. We will not be silent in the face of these continued injustices. We demand action by the federal government now.”

The reform of the criminal justice system in America requires more intellectual honesty in the national dialogue about race, inequality and injustice.  The NNPA will engage and participate in this dialogue as the movement for reform and social change unfolds.