By Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis
Today, the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), the nation’s largest trade association of African American-owned newspapers and media companies, issued an urgent call and demand that President Barack H. Obama and U.S Attorney General Loretta Lynch appoint a Special Federal Prosecutor in the wake of the police killings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. The NNPA also expresses sincere condolences to the families of the police officers who were unjustly killed in Dallas, Texas.
“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 be effectively challenged and changed,” said Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., the president and CEO of the NNPA. “There are, today, too many African American families and communities that continue to endure police brutality and violence across the United States. This is a national crisis that demands immediate federal intervention to both investigate and to prosecute police officers, who continue to commit these wanton racially motivated killings.”
Chavis continued: “We, therefore, demand that a Special Federal Prosecutor be immediately appointed by the United States Department of Justice. To date, unfortunately, local investigations and prosecutions have been ineffective and have not insured equal justice. The Special Federal Prosecutor has to be independent and impartial. We have heard from many of 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.
The NNPA represents 209 African American owned newspapers based in 32 states and known as the “Voice of Black America” that reaches 20.1 million readers per week with national offices located in Washington, D.C. Please visit www.NNPA.org to learn more about the NNPA and go to www.BlackPressUSA.com to check out news and commentary about the Black community.