President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF) Sherrilyn Ifill issued the following statement regarding the indictment of Officer Betty Shelby, who killed Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, and the release of the Scott family’s video footage of the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte:
“In the face of community anguish and the loss of faith communities of color have in the criminal justice system, law enforcement agencies must commit themselves to eliminating racism in their departments root and branch. Transparency and accountability are two vital pillars in that process. We are encouraged that Tulsa embraced both transparency and accountability by releasing the video of the killing of Terence Crutcher and by swiftly indicting the officer who killed him. These are important first steps.
“The country still waits for Charlotte to release the videos it has showing the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. Today we saw the gut-wrenching footage released by Keith Lamont Scott’s family. The disturbing images in that video only intensify the need for the city of Charlotte to provide as complete a picture as possible of how Mr. Scott was killed.
“And the problem, as we know, is not limited to Tulsa and Charlotte. Recent video of a Hagerstown, MD police officer pepper spraying a handcuffed 15-year-old girl shows with devastating clarity the depth of the problem we face.
“This must stop. It is time for the flow of the more than $2 billion federal dollars to local law enforcement agencies to stop unless these departments commit themselves to implementing and adhering to policies that will help end racial bias in policing, and the excessive use of force by police officers.”
Sherrilyn Ifill’s Washington Post Op/Ed: Tie Federal Funding to Meaningful Policing Reform
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization and 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.