DENVER – Following the tragic killings of Terence Crutcher, Keith Lamont Scott, and Tyre King over the last several days, State Innovation Exchange (SiX) Executive Director Nick Rathod released the following statement:
“In the last several days, America has witnessed more horrific killings of black people at the hands of police. Terence Crutcher, Keith Lamont Scott, Tyre King, and so many others like them are just the latest casualties of a system of policing and enforcement that is rooted in racist, discriminatory structures as old as the beginnings of our country. These were not isolated instances of a single officer ‘choking’ under pressure, as some have suggested. Rather, it is the manifestation of racial profiling, inadequate and outdated training, and poor or non-existent oversight and accountability leading to all-too-predictable and tragic outcomes in our communities and for those serving them.
“As a country, we all have blood on our hands. Each day that we refuse to acknowledge and work to address the racist underbelly of systems in our country that have been designed to target communities of color, the poor, and those experiencing mental illness and treat them as less than human, is another day that we fail to live up to the values of fairness and equality that majorities in this country claim to hold dear.
“As an organization with more than 1,500 state legislators in our network and active participants in policymaking and legislating in this country, we understand that changing these systems will not be easy. We also understand that with Congress in perpetual gridlock, states and localities will be on the front lines to address the reforms that must be made, and we urge all lawmakers — conservatives, progressives, independents, and everyone else along the ideological spectrum — to work with us to make the changes needed to disrupt the status quo, protect communities, restore trust in law enforcement, and save lives.”