OP: All Lives Matter – Unity Strengthens for Eric Garner

NEW YORK, NY—Before our communities have had a chance to wrap our minds around what is happening in Ferguson, we find ourselves once again stunned by a grand jury decision not to indict a police officer who used excessive force against an unarmed man. This time it was Eric Garner, father of six in New York City. UNITED SIKHS stands in solidarity with Eric Garner’s family in seeking reform for the continuous lack of police accountability and justice in police brutality cases.

Disguised behind the veil of “Stop-and-Frisk” and phrases like “potential threat to national security” we have seen the New York Police Department disproportionately profile and harass the Sikh and Muslim communities for over a decade. As an international Sikh civil and human rights advocacy organization, UNITED SIKHS has continuously advocated for better treatment for our respective communities.

Today is no different.

We join our brothers and sisters in the civil rights community nationwide to continue the fight for police accountability and reform. This issue directly affects each and every one of us: It is not just a black issue, nor is it just a minority issue. It became a humanity issue when an unarmed man was choked to death despite repeatedly pleading, “I Can’t Breathe” eleven times, all without any consequence.

We commend the Department of Justice’s decision to further investigate Eric Garner’s death and hope these efforts, coupled with the awareness and unity on streets across the nation, will lead to the structural reform of policing practices and accountability penalties that are vital for the just America we all strive to live in equally.

A nation unites in protest with Eric Garner’s final words: “I Can’t Breathe.”

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