On Friday, September 16th, 2016, Terence Crutcher was gunned down by a police officer in Tulsa, Oklahoma. His hands were up when he was shot. Four days later, in Charlotte, North Carolina, Keith Lamont Scott was killed by officers who were looking to serve a warrant for someone else. When he was shot, Keith was reportedly sitting in his car, reading a book, waiting for his son to come home. Today, our hearts go out to the Crutcher and Scott families, as well as the communities of Tulsa and Charlotte.
This past July, the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) and the Racial Justice Coalition (RJC) sent a similar letter regarding the shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. In that email, we also recognized the five Dallas Police Officers who were killed, and the seven others who were wounded by suspected rogue sniper, Micah Xavier Johnson. The issue of police brutality, and the tension it has created within the African-American and police communities, are prevalent and sensitive issues in our nation. However, we believe these issues must be recognized and addressed when they arise in order to prevent any more senseless killings.
BLSA and RJC plan to host a number of events that we hope will allow Michigan Law students to come together and discuss this difficult issue. Until then, please take a moment to check-in with yourself, and find ways to process and heal from these emotionally and mentally trying events. Know that you are not alone and that we are here for those struggling to cope with these events. Dr. Reena Sheth (firstname.lastname@example.org), Director Nealy (email@example.com), and Dean Baum (firstname.lastname@example.org) are available to offer support for students. Additionally, feel free to contact us at BLSA (email@example.com) or RJC (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We ask that everyone, no matter how you identify, take the time to question your thoughts on this matter, reflect, and analyze your views and understand your beliefs. If you have questions or concerns, we again urge you to post anonymously to the MLaw Race Talkwebsite. Please remain professional, and respect other's thoughts and concerns.
Black Law Students Association
Racial Justice Coalition