photo by Mario Anzuoni of Reuters

(New York, NY)–In a joint statement issued today, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund (“LDF”) joined with 12 other leading national civil and human rights organizations in calling for action and reforms in the wake of the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

“Nothing will be resolved until there is systemic change throughout this nation in the implicit and explicit bias against people of color and particularly African American youth who are routinely targeted by law enforcement even within their own communities,” said the letter, which was signed by Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of NAACP LDF, as well as leaders from the A. Philip Randolph Institute, Advancement Project, American Civil Liberties Union, Hip Hop Caucus, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, National Action Network, NAACP, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation Black Women’s Roundtable, National Bar Association, National Urban League, and the Rainbow Push Coalition.

While commending the responses of President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder for their strong stance against the use of deadly force against citizens and the militarization of law enforcement in Ferguson, the groups emphasized that “more must be done to prevent future abuses across the nation.”

“Violent deaths like Michael Brown’s happen all too frequently and will continue to occur without meaningful community accountability,” said Ifill. “The DOJ must utilize its substantial resources to take significant, proactive steps to curb police violence on communities of color. Transparency, accountability, oversight, and deterrence are critical elements in the effort to curtail police violence.”