The killing of Michael Brown has forever left a void in the hearts and lives of his parents, family and friends, who lost a son and a loved one much too soon. The killing of Michael Brown has also brought to light many of the unfortunate blemishes – criminal justice disparities, volatile police-community relations, unemployment and economic inequities – that tarnish our nation and that prevent us from being the best of whom we can be.
This tragedy has exposed the persistent state of emergency that grips not only Ferguson, but our city and our nation as a whole.
Despite the grand jury’s failure to indict Officer Darren Wilson, we must remain ever-vigilant in our quest for justice and journey toward accountability and reform through the nonviolent peaceful protests and demonstrations that have led to the most sustained change throughout our nation’s history.
The Urban League of Portland will continue to demand justice for Michael Brown and his family throughout this process. We will also remain committed to restoring hope and safety to the families and communities that need it most.
We keenly understand that the function of government is to uphold the rights of citizens in every town, city, and state. Our civic and elected leaders must recommit themselves to protect both the lives and well-being of citizens here in Portland and our rights to speak and assemble peacefully. Anything less is another injustice.