NPAP Condemns Police’s Use of Overwhelming Force Against Protesters
The National Police Accountability Project (NPAP) condemns the use of overwhelming force by law enforcement to block legitimate protest against the racist and unconstitutional use of deadly force against Black Americans and other minorities. We denounce the president of the United States for using armed military units to clear the streets of peaceful demonstrators in order to create a photo op for him to spew his divisive and hateful rhetoric. Tear gas, pepper gas, so-called “rubber” bullets, and truncheons will not create an atmosphere in which needed changes can be made or healing occur. Unless and until we address the underlying causes of an epidemic of violence against Black persons, our society will not be at peace and cannot be united. The racism that leads to police violence is systemic and deeply rooted in our society, not merely the result of individual rogue officers.
NPAP president Michael Avery stated, “We have seen case after case in which Black men and women are murdered or severely injured by police officers. It must stop. The police must be held accountable. All four officers who participated in the murder of George Floyd must be prosecuted and brought to justice.”
NPAP decries the “blue wall of silence,” a pattern that exists across the country, that pressures police to cover up misconduct by fellow officers. Officers who lie about, remain silent, or fail to intervene to stop misconduct are complicit in the actions of an officer using excessive force. NPAP deplores the use of force against reporters and journalists, which we have witnessed, and which shores up the blue wall of silence. NPAP civil rights lawyers and activists are committed to holding officers and police departments accountable for their actions and have been bringing and will continue to bring responsible parties to the bar of justice to make reparations to persons injured by police violence.
NPAP executive director Rachel Pickens said, “We demand that all police departments adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward the racist use of force against Blacks and other minorities. And we call upon all departments to prohibit all methods of restraint against any person in custody that cause positional asphyxia and death.”
NPAP is a national organization of over five hundred lawyers and legal workers who insist upon accountability for police who violate constitutional and human rights. Its headquarters are in New Orleans, Louisiana.