John Crawford III Press Release Statement

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September 26, 2014

In light of the grand jury decision to not indict the two white police officers that executed John Crawford III at the Beavercreek, Ohio Walmart on August 5th, 2014, we felt compelled to give our position in the form of this official statement.

First, Racial Justice Now! is outraged at this decision. We are outraged that the prosecutor decided to convene a grand jury instead of trying these police officers outright.

Secondly, Racial Justice Now! is committed to truth and justice, and we want to see justice served in this case. We are supportive of the investigation by the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, however knowing the history of the United States we are not with high expectation.

Additionally, we are in support of other activists and organizations that are organizing state wide and nationally. We commend the Ohio Student Association for all of their work and action surrounding this case.  We lend all the support and resources that we can to see justice served for John Crawford III and his family.

Lastly, we admire and commend all of the activists, organizers, and protestors that have participated in the organizing and mobilizing of rallies, marches, and occupations. We hope that all who have been inspired to participate in this cause and work will continue long term to fight for justice. Too many of Black Americans have thought that America has changed, but the recent increase in the abuse of authority (spanning from brutal beatings to the unrestricted use of deadly force) has reminded us all that we live in a racist and unjust society. The racism that Black American’s live under is both systemic and institutional.

While marches, rallies, and protests have their place, we must continue to measure and weigh the results of our efforts and actions. We ask the question ‘what will stop the police and others from giving us the next John Crawford?’ As activists and organizers,  continued evolution and growth in our long term strategies and tactics is essential as we seek to prevent and combat racism and injustice from its systemic and institutional root.

The harsh reality of Black people’s plight has fallen on deaf ears from our government and elected officials (whether democrat or republican). Even in voting season there has been a deafening hush amongst politicians, which disproves that by simply voting Black Americans should not expect to change the oppressive conditions under which we live. RJN! supports serious civil disobedience .  Everyone (institutions included) must be made as uncomfortable as possible. If we soberly and honestly weigh available tactics and methods against results, the honest conclusions is that this government does not respect our peaceful assertions.

At risk is the future of Black children who are being slain with no recourse from the courts and judicial system as a whole. Black children’s lives are of little value to those who have the authority to take them in a moment’s notice. RJN will continue in our fight for justice seeking victory, but let us not forget that it is absurd and ironic to have to fight for justice.  Justice is a human right not a want.

“Racial Justice NOW! (RJN) is a community based organization made up of educators, parents, clergy, and grassroots activists. RJN is a community activist organization dedicated to fighting institutional and systemic racism. By focusing on human rights, RJN seeks to empower other grassroots activists to challenge systemic racism by organizing and holding people in power accountable.”

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