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STATEMENT: Generation Progress #Fight4AFuture Network Members on Recent Police Shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 7, 2016

CONTACT: Kyle Epstein, 202-481-8137

kepstein@americanprogress.org

Washington, D.C.—In the wake of two recent police shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, young members of the Generation Progress #Fight4AFuture Network on gun violence prevention spoke out in strength and solidarity. Kina Collins, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, issued the following statement:

“As we mourn the loss of Baton Rouge native Alton Sterling in Louisiana, I cannot help but feel an overwhelming sense of déjà vu.  Here in Louisiana, a state with the second largest proportion of Black Americans in the United States, the interaction between police officers and civilians has been disheartening, painful, and damaged. At this time we want people to realize that Alton Sterling was someone’s father, son, brother, and friend. He is not a hashtag or a body that will be discarded and dismissed.  We are praying, we are rebuilding, and we are positioning ourselves to continue the fight for justice.”

Tyron Jenkins, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, added:

“This hits close too close to home, because Philando was my brother’s cousin. He had a license to carry. He was following the law. It’s heartbreaking because this shows that even if you’re not breaking any laws, if you’re Black in today’s world, you are still at risk of being killed by a police officer. This should cause more people to take a stand on gun violence, and hold law enforcement accountable when they’re wrong.”

Generation Progress condemns these acts of violence that disproportionately impact young people, but young people of color especially. Police violence is a gun violence prevention issue, and it will be young people who continue to lead this long march toward justice.

For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Kyle Epstein at kepstein@americanprogress.org or 202.481.8137

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