Divide Between Our Communities is Deadly and Threatens Every Part of Our Society

Statement by CWA Vice President Claude Cummings, chair of the Executive Board Committee on Human Rights, following last week's shootings:

We can look upon the tragic deaths in Minnesota, in Louisiana and in Dallas last week with sadness, anger, grief, confusion and certainly compassion, but it's not nearly enough. This is more than a gut check, it's a soul check.

Our souls are being tested by a sobbing young man whose Dad was shot and killed at point blank range while being pinned to the ground by police officers. We're tested by an extraordinary woman with the poise and presence of mind to carefully document her boyfriend being shot dead by a police officer for driving with a busted tail light. We bear the solemn duty to find out not just how but why five Dallas police officers were gunned down and murdered in a coordinated attack.

Fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers are being killed and their families crushed.

As I stated last year at the CWA Convention prior to introducing our Committee on Equity, police officers go to work each day shouldering the burden of risking their lives to save ours and keep us all safe. Too many are falling. At the same time, some others are somehow making horrible, deadly choices that take the lives of those they’re sworn to protect.

Leaders at every level – government, labor, business, the faith community – need to put concerns about politics, personalities and public images aside and acknowledge what is obvious and deadly. Any divide, any hostility between our communities and law enforcement is dangerous, is deadly and threatens every part of our society.

Meeting our responsibility to deal straight up with this crisis, stop these killings and restore respect and trust between police officers and those they are charged with protecting won’t so much reflect on our careers or reputations, it will be a measure of our moral strength and courage.