A Total Disregard for Our Lives

From: Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO, NAACP

On April 4, Walter Scott was stopped by North Charleston police officer Michael Slager for a broken taillight. Minutes later, he was dead.

This sequence of events is becoming all too familiar:

Police kill an unarmed person of color. The officers claim they were fearful for their lives, that there was a struggle for a weapon. Later, video footage shows that the only person in danger wasn’t wearing a uniform.

We need to end this abuse of power.

Let’s start here: Click to send a tweet to South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley urging her to mandate statewide use of police body cameras.

We’ve seen it in Staten Island, Miami Gardens, and Tulsa. What would’ve happened without these videos? More of the same unchecked, unpunished disregard for black lives—and it’s shameful for our country.

Videos can go a long way to ensure that justice is served in our communities. We must demand that body cameras become standard for police officers in South Carolina — and across the country.

In the days after the release of the video of Scott’s shooting, Michael Slager was fired from the police force and charged with murder. And North Charleston ordered body cameras for all of their police officers.

It’s a start. But it’s not enough—not even close.

While we fight for sweeping reforms to policing practices and culture, we need immediate protections put in place nationwide. We need all law enforcement officers equipped with body cameras, and we need it now.

Tweet at Nikki Haley demanding the statewide adoption of body cameras by police.

Thank you for standing up for our safety and our communities,

Cornell William Brooks
President and CEO
NAACP