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Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I Can No Longer Stay Silent, Says Michael Jordan On Police & African American Killings

The basketball Hall of Famer and Charlotte Hornets owner finally has chosen to speak on the recent unrest in the country following the police killing of five police officers by a lone gunman at an otherwise peaceful Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas, the police killing of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La., the killing of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minn., the police shooting of North Miami behavioral therapist Charles Kinsey as he lay on his back with his hands thrust in the air trying to coax an autistic patient back into a mental health center, and all the protests and demonstrations that have followed. Full post after cut............

With persistent issues of racism, violence against African Americans, police brutality and gun violence coming to the forefront for many NBA and WNBA players of late, Jordan decided that, “as a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man deeply troubled” by the deaths on both sides of the divide, the time was now for him to speak, and to act: 

“I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late. I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent. We need to find solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all are respected and supported.

“Over the past three decades I have seen up close the dedication of the law enforcement officers who protect me and my family. I have the greatest respect for their sacrifice and service. I also recognize that for many people of color their experiences with law enforcement have been different than mine. I have decided to speak out in the hope that we can come together as Americans, and through peaceful dialogue and education, achieve constructive change.

“To support that effort, I am making contributions of $1 million each to two organizations, the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s newly established Institute for Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. The Institute for Community-Police Relations’ policy and oversight work is focused on building trust and promoting best practices in community policing. My donation to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s oldest civil rights law organization, will support its ongoing work in support of reforms that will build trust and respect between communities and law enforcement. Although I know these contributions alone are not enough to solve the problem, I hope the resources will help both organizations make a positive difference.”

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