LDF today commended President Obama for ordering an investigation into the killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager shot to death by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri earlier this week.  LDF also commends the President for urging Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to create a plan for addressing the state’s response to protests in the wake of Mr. Brown’s death.

“We could not agree more with the President’s statement that we need an open and transparent process to see that justice is done,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, the President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. “This process should be implemented not only by Missouri officials in the wake of the Michael Brown killing, but also by federal officials who have oversight of our nation’s law enforcement community.”

In a letter sent earlier today to Attorney General Eric Holder, LDF called on the Justice Department to undertake a series of actions to address the unjustified use of lethal and excessive force against unarmed African Americans by police forces throughout the country, including:

  • undertake a comprehensive review of police-involved assaults and killings of unarmed individuals, with a focus on killings of unarmed African-Americans;
  • provide strong incentives for racial bias training and avoiding the use of force in the DOJ grant process;
  • hold police officers accountable to the full extent of the law; and
  • encourage the use of police officer body-worn cameras.