Washington, D.C. – We can only look with revulsion on the images from McKinney, Tex., of a white police officer pushing a 15-year old Black girl in a bathing suit face-down on the ground and placing a knee on her back. Today, we are shocked, angered, and deeply worried for the well being of this young woman. Tomorrow, we need answers, and action.
If the girl had been white, would she have received the same treatment from the white police officers on the scene?
Would the white police officer involved have even considered pulling a white teenage girl by the hair while screaming “ON YOUR FACE!” and then sitting on top of her while she cries, “call my mother”?
Would the white police officers have responded to a similar incident involving unarmed white teenagers at a community pool by an outrageous use of violence and intimidation: brandishing weapons, placing the teens in handcuffs, and verbally and physically abusing them?
Placing the officer on administrative leave is an insufficient response, particularly in light of the fact that this police department has a history of racial tension. NOW calls for the immediate firing of the police officer who committed the abuse, and immediate leave without pay for the officers who abetted him. In addition, NOW calls on the U.S. Department of Justice to immediately launch a full-scale investigation into the conduct of the McKinney, Texas police department. We can no longer tolerate the racial injustice that seems to have become a hallmark of too many police departments across our nation. Black girls’ lives matter.