Law and Politics

A Broken Criminal Justice System

December 8, 2014
By SEIU President Mary Kay Henry

Washington, DC – Intense grief and outrage fell upon the SEIU family with the news of a non-indictment decision in the choking death of Eric Garner by a Staten Island Grand Jury. Our hearts are with the children and family of Mr. Garner, at this trying time. No family should have to live under constant anxiety and dread of what may befall their loved ones at the hands of a broken criminal justice system every time they leave the house.

From the streets of Ferguson to Times Square in New York, our communities have come together in demonstration to demand a fix to a criminal justice system that treats communities of color by a different standard. The growing voices and cries in our streets, remind us over and over that injustices against our communities and children of color reverberate nationwide and send America spiraling backward in our quest for fairness and justice for all.

America will never truly thrive as a nation until every human being is respected and every community has equal opportunity to thrive. We applaud the Department of Justice's decision to investigate the tragic taking of Eric Garner's life. To ensure that the criminal justice system holds everyone equal under the law, regardless of the color of their skin or the zip code in which they live, policies and practices must change across the board. We will not rest in this effort until America is a more just society where all lives matter.

December 8, 2014

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