LOS ANGELES – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Chair of the House Financial Services Committee, issued a statement on the death of at least two Black men who were killed by the police in the past few weeks: Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta, GA and Maurice Gordon in Bass River, New Jersey. Her statement follows:
“Over the past 19 days, millions of protesters in this country and around the world have created one of the largest sustained demonstrations in history to make a clear and profound statement of opposition to the continuous murder of Black men and women by law enforcement. Yet, in the midst of all the protests demanding justice, we have learned of at least two additional unarmed Black men who have been murdered by the police.
“Video footage of the murder of 27-year-old Rayshard Brooks revealed a police officer making the choice to cast aside his taser, reach for his gun, and shoot down a Black man who was found sleeping in his car. Rayshard Brooks posed no threat to the police and spoke calmly with officers for 27 minutes. Rayshard Brooks was running away from police, unarmed, and in possession of a taser — which by no stretch of the imagination is a deadly weapon – when an officer fired three shot at his back and killed him. Another unarmed Black man, 28-year-old Maurice Gordon, was killed by a New Jersey state trooper after being pulled over for speeding. These are two of the most recent murders by police that have garnered media attention, but there may be other victims that we don’t have video footage or national awareness of.
“The African American community is beyond outraged. We are frustrated. We are sick and tired of being sick and tired, and we are beyond the point of accepting incremental change. The murder of George Floyd by the police and the international calls for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other Black men and women should have been a wake-up call. Instead of justice and reformed practices by the police, we have been confronted with more murder and police brutality. What more will it take?
“Law enforcement has been given the opportunity to reform its practices time and time again. All police officers who choose to use deadly force on unarmed citizens of this country must be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Far too many Black men and women are continuing to be murdered with impunity at the hands of the police, and the people of this country will not stand for such blatant disregard for human life any longer.
“As a Black woman, wife, mother, and grandmother, I demand that police officers do not kill another unarmed Black person.”