Read a PDF of our statement here.

Monique L. Dixon, the Deputy Director of Policy and Director of State Advocacy at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following statement regarding this week’s police-involved shooting in Baltimore:

“This police-involved shooting is another example of why we must reimagine public safety in America. It comes at a time when people across the nation are continuing to protest police violence and demand changes that do not rely on law enforcement to address every social challenge, including interactions with persons experiencing behavioral health crises.

“The 2017 federal consent decree requires the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) to take numerous steps to address unlawful policing practices uncovered in a U.S. Department of Justice investigative report. These requirements include de-escalating encounters with vulnerable populations, such as the one that led to this police-involved shooting. Yet, in its own 2019 analysis, Baltimore city officials found that officers who had specialty training in crisis intervention were not responding to what were clearly behavioral health calls.

“We call on the BPD to conduct a transparent investigation of this incident, including the release of body-worn camera footage, as well as information about the officers involved –  whether they were trained in crisis intervention and their years of service on the police force. We also urge the Baltimore Monitoring Team to examine this and other police-involved shootings and excessive use of force incidents to ensure that officers are complying with the requirements of the consent decree.

“The Legal Defense Fund will continue to partner with organizations in Maryland and nationwide to advance policies and practices that end police violence and racially-biased policing, promote police accountability, and advance public safety systems that drastically reduces the need for armed law enforcement in Black communities and other communities of color.”

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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.

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