“This pattern is becoming all too common,” said Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., founder and president of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition following the shooting death of a South Florida man, DeCarlos Moore. Moore was shot by a Miami Police officer during a traffic stop. “The Department of Justice must intervene. This was an unarmed man shot in public. The recent shooting of Moore magnifies symptoms of a deeper problem of insensitivity and detachment.”
Riots broke out in Oakland, CA this past Thursday in protest over the verdict in the Oscar Grant shooting. Grant was the unarmed 22-year-old African-American man who was shot dead by Johannes Mehserle, a white transit officer, on an Oakland train platform on New Year's Day in 2009. A jury in Los Angeles convicted Mehserle of involuntary manslaughter but he was acquitted on the more serious charges of second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter.
Rev. Jackson went on to say, “Diversity is an important asset to police. Police bureaus should be more diversified with women and whites and people of color. It should look like the community so you have more sensitivity. If you have a diverse community, you should have a diverse police department.
Blacks have the highest infant mortality rates, and the shortest life expectancy. Unemployment rates for blacks are nearly twice that of whites. From jobs, to access to capital and lending, racially driven structural inequalities dominate the social and economic landscape of America.
Today it is clearer than ever that we need vigorous action by local and state authorities and the U.S. Department of Justice to enforce civil rights laws, EEOC, contract compliance and affirmative action. I hope the President and his administration will address these issues head-on to deal with issues surrounding equal protection under the law for all Americans.”