FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 11, 2016
Media Contact: Naima Savage | 504-952-1862 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Official Statement from BYP100 New Orleans Chapter on “Blue Lives Matter” Bill
NEW ORLEANS, LA – The New Orleans Chapter of Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) is partnering with other activist organizations to denounce Louisiana HB 953, a bill that would add law enforcement, firefighters, and emergency personnel as a protected class to Louisiana hate crime legislation. BYP100 NOLA encourages Louisiana residents to call on State Senators to vote NO on HB 953 today.
“We have to stop this malicious trend before it starts – we cannot allow the gains of the civil rights movement to be squandered away by police officers scrambling to avoid criticism from their constituents.” – Savannah Shange of BYP100 New Orleans.
The criminal (in)justice system and those who uphold it have a long and egregious history of inflicting violence on Black and Brown bodies while hiding behind uniforms and badges. The “Blue Lives Matter” bill is an insidious attempt to destabilize our First Amendment rights as community members who hold the police, and others sworn by oath to serve and protect, accountable.
In 2015, an overwhelming 1,186 people were killed by police violence in comparison to the 42 police officers that experienced fatality in the United States. Police deaths by gunfire have decreased by 14% in the past year and violence against police is at an all-time low yet violence from police is at a record high. In Louisiana, the murders of Eric Harris by parish officers in New Orleans, handcuffed Victor White III in New Iberia and Armand Bennett at a routine traffic stop show us that police forces operate with impunity in our state and do not need additional protections. We, the people, need protection from the police.
By treating the police as specialized citizens held above criticism and the laws they are charged to enforce, we lose our ability to exercise our First Amendment right. Including “police” as a protected class in hate crime legislation would serve to provide more protection to an institution that is statistically proven to be racist in action, policy, and impact.
Stop HB 953 from passing today by calling your LA State Senators. Contact information for all Senators can be found at http://1.usa.gov/1cBUoWD. Find your Senator at http://1.usa.gov/1lRGiPT.
Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) is an activist member-based organization of Black 18-35 year olds, dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. We do our work through a Black queer feminist lens.
We are affiliated with the Black Youth Project.
www.byp100.org | @BYP_100 | www.facebook.com/BYP100