Today, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) Sherrilyn Ifill released the following statement on the increase in vehicle-ramming attacks against protesters and the lack of federal action:
“In the aftermath of yet another vehicle-ramming attack on peaceful protesters that resulted in the death of Summer Taylor, LDF renews its call for a federal investigation into what appears to be a targeted strategy by white supremacists and other extremists to assault those advocating for justice.
“To be clear, this type of violence against peaceful protesters is not new. Heather Heyer was killed after a white supremacist drove through protesters in Charlottesville in 2017, but these attacks began increasing in frequency in 2015, including incidents in Illinois and Ferguson in 2016. Since April, there has been a marked increase in these attacks. This year alone, there have been over 50 vehicle-ramming attacks of peaceful protesters, including multiple deaths as a result.
“Despite all this, Attorney General Barr and President Trump have been conspicuously silent on this issue. Instead the President and Attorney General have reserved their harshest rhetoric and focus on ramping up federal prosecutions of protesters accused of property damage. We renew our call for the Department of Justice to investigate each individual vehicle-ramming attack, and to investigate whether these attacks are the result of concerted or coordinated action fueled by growing online engagement among white supremacist groups.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF.