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Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Calls for U.S. Department of Justice Hate Crime Investigation

America’s Modern Tolerance for Outsiders With Guns at Peaceful Civil Rights Protests Took Two More Lives Last Night


Kenosha, Wisconsin residents have been on edge for more than three days after Jacob Blake, a Black resident of Kenosha, Wisconsin, was shot in the back while in front of his children on Sunday, by a white police officer. Overnight, protests prompted by Blake's shooting were interrupted by fatal shootings carried out by a vigilante suspect openly carrying an AR-style weapon. Read the letter here. The following is a statement from Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:

"Americans deserve immediate answers about the deadly violence that played out on the streets of Kenosha amid demonstrations in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake. Black people and their allies have a constitutionally protected right to demonstrate and protest against injustice and police violence. While law enforcement in riot gear and military tanks chose to surveil and silence these protesters, men armed with AR-15s appear to have been given free rein of the streets. This gross double-standard exposes the deep racial fault lines that are tearing apart communities nationwide. We call on the U.S. Department of Justice to immediately investigate Monday's fatal shootings to determine whether this incident was racially motivated and in violation of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act."

Read the letter here.

The Lawyers' Committee is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to enlist the private bar's leadership and resources in combating racial discrimination and the resulting inequality of opportunity - work that continues to be vital today.

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