This moment is a wake-up call.

People are marching in the streets in city after city to send a crucial message — our criminal justice system must be reformed now.

The grand jury’s decision in Ferguson does not negate the fact that Michael Brown’s death is part of an alarming national trend of officers using excessive force against people of color, often during routine encounters. We hear about it almost every day — just four days ago, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot twice and killed by police in a playground while holding a toy gun.

Our criminal justice system is broken. It is rife with racial disparities — and now is the time to recommit ourselves to doing everything in our power to fix it.

The ACLU has been on the ground in Ferguson, not just this week but for months, insisting on transparency and accountability by police and protecting the free speech rights of reporters and protestors. Today, our offices across the nation are working to see that protestors everywhere are given a voice.

But that is just part of our work. With you by our side, the ACLU will keep vigorously pursuing fundamental reforms in a criminal justice system that is deeply biased against communities of color. That means:

  • Pressing for zero tolerance towards racial profiling

  • Demanding an end to “us vs. them” policing of minority communities

  • Ending extreme mandatory sentencing

  • Insisting on better data collection and transparency on police conduct

  • Demanding accountability for excessive use of force

This is work the ACLU is leading the way on. We will build on our successes like the passage of Prop 47 in California, which changed the lowest-level nonviolent crimes, such as simple drug possession, from felonies to misdemeanors. That change will help to reduce over-incarceration and keep families united.

Together, you and the ACLU will stand side by side with people whose freedom and very lives are put at risk by policies and practices that have no place in America.

Thanks for your commitment,

Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director, ACLU

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Last edited by Tyler Schuster.   Page last modified on November 26, 2014

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