New York – The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) is alarmed by the recent shootings and mourns the loss of life of Alton Sterling and Philandro Castile, two African-American men, and the five police officers in Dallas who were killed this week. We call for calm, deep reflection and a serious commitment to political reform and social change to make the American commitment to equal treatment under the law a reality.
As population dynamic shifts and our nation becomes increasingly diverse we must make every effort to end violence, prejudice and fear. “Far too many African-Americans, particularly young men, have fallen victim to police violence leaving an indelible mark on communities and families. We urge police departments to embrace community policing practices and to transform the often adversarial relationship between local police forces and the communities they serve,” stated David Bernstein, President of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs. “The spate of horrific police shootings shows that many police departments must undergo serious culture change, and see themselves as not only enforcers of the law but members of the community as well. We have a long way to go as a country.”
Even as we mourn the loss of life this week, we condemn in no uncertain terms the murder of, at last count, five police officers in Dallas. President Obama stated, “I speak for every single American when I say that we are horrified over these events, and that we stand united with the people and the police department in Dallas…Let’s be clear: There is no possible justification for these kinds of attacks or any violence against law enforcement.”
“We urge communities around the country to heal the trauma caused by misunderstandings and prejudice, and to build trusting relationships between communities and their police forces,” said Cheryl Fishbein, JCPA Chair.