Statement Regarding the Recent Killings of Unarmed African Americans
National President & CEO Beverly E. Smith released the following statement on the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd:
“In 1903, W.E.B. DuBois wrote that the ‘problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line.’ As we near the third decade of the 21st century, the color line continues to divide America and define how law enforcement is practiced in our country in ways that are psychologically damaging and, far too often, deadly for people of color.
The use of excessive force by law enforcement, specifically in matters involving Black people, has created an environment of distrust and anxiety between the officials and the communities they have sworn to protect and serve. The recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery in Glynn County, Georgia; Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Kentucky; and George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota, are etched in our minds as symbols of injustice and the painful reminder that Black lives don’t seem to matter in the land of ‘liberty and justice for all.’ While social media has brought these injustices to the mainstream, we know, all too well, that many more undocumented incidents are the reality for many African Americans every day.
All three situations underscore the need for stakeholders – from policymakers to community activists to police union leaders and law enforcement professionals – to join forces to create strategies to address challenges such as implicit bias in law enforcement in a meaningful way.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated reaffirms our stance against the use of excessive force by law enforcement. We urge all chapters and members to use the power in their voice to engage with law enforcement agencies and help repair the relationship between members of law enforcement and the communities they serve. While it is little consolation, we extend our sincere condolences and prayers to the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd during this difficult time.”