Ten groups affiliated with the Black Lives Matter movement accused the public of “hypocrisy” Wednesday by mourning the deaths of law enforcement officers but not those of black people killed by police.
In an “official statement” tied to the slayings of eight officers this month by anti-police gunmen, the organizations emphasized that “the movement has never called for the execution of law enforcement officers. Never. Still, many want to place the blame at our feet.”
A sniper in Dallas killed eight officers working security July 7 at a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas, while another gunman ambushed three officers Sunday in Baton Rouge.
Both indicated that they had targeted police in retaliation for the recent deaths of black men at the hands of police.
“As those who stand with, or are ourselves, the victims of police violence, we know all too well the deep sense of loss that a community feels when they lose a loved one,” said the statement.
“And yet, we see great hypocrisy in the attempts to blame this movement for violence against the police. When police are killed, there is public and national mourning, attempts to strengthen laws to ensure their lives. There are convictions of the people who caused their deaths,” it continued. “But when our lives are taken, there is no such national mourning.”
The statement was posted by the Movement for Black Lives, Black Lives Matter Network, Project South, Organization for Black Struggle, Million Hoodies for Justice, Black Youth Project 100, St. Louis Action Table, Blackout Collective, Black Alliance for Just Immigration and the Black Immigration Network.
The message comes amid this week’s #FreedomNow protest, a two-day campaign calling for municipalities to divert funding from law enforcement to programs such as housing, job initiatives and youth programs.
Occupy-style events were held Wednesday outside police-advocacy groups, including the National Fraternal Order of Police in Washington, D.C., the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association in New York City and the Oakland Police Officers Association in Oakland, California.
Organizers accused the National FOP of continuing to “protect cops that kill and maim civilians, ensuring their continued pay and job status and shielding them from accountability.”
The FOP did not immediately return a request Wednesday for comment.
“The FOP acts like a college fraternity and is responsible for maintaining the harmful, lethal, unethical and unaccountable policing culture,” said Clarise McCants of Black Youth Project 100 in a statement.
The Dallas gunman, 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson, told police he “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers” before he was killed in a standoff with law enforcement, according to Dallas Police Chief David Brown.
The Baton Rouge shooter, 29-year-old Gavin Eugene Long, had recently changed what he called his “slave name” and was affiliated with several anti-government groups, including the New Black Panther Party. He was killed in a shootout with police.