According to local police reports to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), from 2006-2012, a white police officer has killed a black person at least twice a week in this country. In 2013, there were 461 “justifiable homicides” by police, the highest number in more than two decades.
“The issue of police killing unarmed black men in America is one of the most important social justice issues of our lifetime,” says Jackie L. Jeter, president of ATU Local 689. “Whether it is men like Sean Bell and Eric Garner or younger boys like Michael Brown and Tamir Rice, we must face the issue of police brutality and ensure that every police officer recognizes that, like all lives, black lives matter.”
The National Action Network has organized Saturday’s rally that will be led by the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, as well as slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin.
“The street confrontations many of these young men find themselves in with police is a direct result of policy and politicians who continue to destroy the middle class,” says Jeter. “As transit workers, we provide transportation that allows people access to upward mobility. As long as we have policies attacking the ability to earn family-sustaining wages in America, these types of conflicts will continue to occur. Local 689 will always stand on the side of the poor and middle class of America. That is why we are proud to support this cause and stand ready to begin the work to effect change.”