Statement on Sterling and Castile Police Shootings

This week, two black men were fatally shot by police officers in separate incidents caught partially on camera and propelled to national attention. The Chicago Lawyers’ Committee joins with horrified and outraged communities of color and white allies across the country in mourning the killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile.

Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old father of five, was shot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana while selling CDs outside a convenience store. Philando Castile, 32, was shot during a routine traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, while his girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter sat in the car.

Sadly, these victims are not exceptional. More than 120 black people have been fatally killed by police so far this year. Now more than ever, we insist that Black Lives Matter.

The Chicago Lawyers’ Committee commends the U.S. Department of Justice for quickly opening an investigation into Alton Sterling’s killing. We hope that a full and comprehensive independent inquiry will lead to sustained reforms and expanded oversight of police departments across the country. Through public advocacy and coalition building, the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee will continue its police accountability work to ensure that our justice system upholds civil liberties and affords equal protection to everyone.