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Congresswoman Clarke’s Statement on the Grand Jury Decision in Ferguson, Missouri

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement after the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri not to indict Police Officer Darren Wilson, who killed the unarmed, eighteen-year-old Michael Brown in August of this year. 

On behalf of the people of the Ninth Congressional District of New York, I wish once again to share my condolences with the family of Michael Brown, whose efforts to secure justice on behalf of their son have been undermined by the decision of the grand jury. The killing of Michael Brown and attacks by the Ferguson Police Department on the media and protesters demonstrate a reckless disregard for the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of Americans of African descent and people of good will who seek justice in a nation with a long and tortured history of racial bias and discrimination against human beings in Black bodies. The assumption that young men and young women who are African-American are inherently suspicious is a false assumption with deadly consequences, as witnessed and experienced by Black people from the inception of our nation to the present day. We must not allow this false assumption to prevail in our society. We cannot continue to accept the devaluation of African-American lives that resulted in the inhumane killing of Michael Brown and the failure of the grand jury to indict the police officer who killed him – on any charge – as well as in recent incidents such as the senseless killings of Eric Garner of Staten Island and Akai Gurley here in Brooklyn just last week.”