Today, Janai Nelson, the Associate Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following statement regarding the killing of Rayshard Brooks by Atlanta Police:

“Mr. Brooks’ killing by Atlanta police represents yet another tragic and senseless loss of a Black person’s life at the hands of law enforcement. We are deeply concerned by the circumstances of his killing as we know them — including the fact that what should have been a routine safety check escalated into a fatal encounter. 

“We will closely monitor the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s (GBI) independent probe of the incident and urge the agency to conduct a comprehensive and timely review of the facts leading up to the killing of Mr. Brooks to determine whether the officers involved should be charged for Mr. Brooks death. As with other police-involved killings of Black persons under suspect circumstances, especially involving a police department with a concerning record of excessive use of force, we also call for an immediate independent federal investigation of this tragic incident.”

Monique Dixon, Director of LDF’s Policing Reform Campaign added the following:

“Comprehensive and systemic policing reform is urgently needed, both in Atlanta and around the country. According to news reports, the GBI has investigated 48 police shootings this year. As protesters have demanded nationwide, we must re-shape the very notion of policing, including reimagining public safety and reallocating resources to address issues of health, homelessness, youth services, and education.

“LDF strongly urges elected officials and law enforcement leadership to begin implementing the needed reforms outlined in our Demands for Policing Reform.

“We extend our deepest condolences to Mr. Brooks’ friends and family as they mourn his loss. Mr. Brooks’ killing impacts everyone who believes in equal rights and justice under the law, and LDF remains firmly committed to effecting change that ends the senseless loss of Black lives at the hands of law enforcement.”


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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