Coalition tells president racial injustice underlies Michael Brown killing

WASHINGTON – AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka joined a diverse group of organizations and leaders from all walks of life in signing on to a letter to President Barack Obama calling for real solutions after the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. 

“As the nation’s largest labor federation,” said Trumka, “the AFL-CIO believes that our nation must address issues of racial injustice in order to realize economic prosperity for all.”

Michael Brown, the coalition points out, is only the latest in a long list of black men and boys who have died under eerily similar circumstances. Investigations into the Ferguson shooting are ongoing, and many of the specific facts remain unclear for now. However, the pattern is too obvious to be a coincidence and too frequent to be a mistake. From policing to adjudication and incarceration, it is time for the country to counter the effects of systemic racial bias, which impairs the perceptions, judgment and behavior of too many of our law enforcement personnel and obstructs the ability of our police departments and criminal justice institutions to protect and serve all communities in a fair and just manner.

The letter calls on the Obama administration to address what it calls “systematic racial bias” and the “militarization of police departments around the country.”  

Read the letter here.

The above article by Mike Hall is reprinted from the AFL-CIO Now Blog.

Photo: Michael Brown’s funeral. Robert Cohen/AP