December 16, 2015
BALTIMORE, MD – NAACP National President and CEO Cornell William Brooks today issued the following statement in response to the mistrial declared in the trial of Baltimore City police officer William Porter. The trial was the first of six planned for police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray on April 12, 2015.
“The NAACP has closely watched the investigation into the tragic and senseless death of Freddie Gray at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve the community. This was a tragic and extreme example of law enforcement ignoring their own official and moral protocols when it comes to policing and protecting our community, and a grim reminder of the urgent need for criminal justice and law enforcement reform in cities across America.
“As we learned in this trial, the disdain police showed for Gray clearly demonstrates that the Baltimore Police Department must change the culture of its police force and address issues of police brutality, accountability and excessive use of force. While we continue to closely follow the trials scheduled in this case, we urge Police Commissioner Davis and elected officials to work together to enact transparent reforms that can rebuild trust between officers and the communities they serve.
“While we respect the legal process and still await justice, the death of Freddie Gray and other tragedies continue to point to the need for systemic reform both within the municipal police departments and statewide. We call on the community to continue the protests while using all of the available nonviolent means to seek justice for a violent death. We still believe that Officer Porter and his fellow officers failed in their fundamental responsibility and we continue to wait for justice.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2015
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas here.