CandlesThe shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown is a tragic reminder of the violence that Black men and women face in America on a daily basis. Every person, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, must be able to walk the streets without fear for their safety.

While investigations are just beginning, authorities owe it to Brown’s family and to all victims of violence to see justice is served.

Trayvon Martin’s death awakened many Americans to issues of racial injustice. And since his death, there has been no stop to the injustice. Consider the deaths of Renisha McBride, the 19-year-old woman who was shot and killed last year after knocking on a door for help after a car accident. Or this weekend’s killing of John Crawford, a 22-year-old father who was shot and killed by the police while holding a toy rifle in Wal-Mart. Or the 2012 deaths of 16-year-old unarmed Kimani Gray and 19-year-old college student Kendrec McDade, who were also shot and killed by law enforcement officers. And sadly, this is by no means an exhaustive list.

It is time for us to recognize and respond to the violence that young men and women of color face as part of their everyday life in the land of the free, even at the hands of the people sworn to protect us all.

HRC will continue to advocate for common-sense protections and justice to ensure that people of color, LGBT Americans, and others aren’t victims of potentially bias-related crimes.

Filed under: Hate Crimes

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