The Huffington Post is reporting that #BlackLivesMatter, the social movement formulated to protest against violence and oppression in the African American community, officially condemned the “senseless” killing of two New York Police Department officers.
“An eye for an eye is not our vision of justice,” the group said in a statement obtained Saturday by The Huffington Post. “We who have taken to the streets seeking justice and liberation know that we need deep transformation to correct the larger institutional problems of racial profiling, abuse, and violence.”
The statement came after Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, shot and wounded his ex-girlfriend in Maryland on Saturday morning before heading to New York City, where he fatally shot NYPD officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos “execution style” about 3 p.m. in Brooklyn, police say. He reportedly shot the men as they sat in their patrol car, and then fled into the subway where he turned the gun on himself, reports say.
Brinsley, who had a long criminal history and was estranged from his family, according to reports, wrote in social media posts that the shootings were done in revenge for the deaths of two unarmed Black men. Michael Brown, 18, was shot and killed after a brief confrontation with Ferguson, Mo., officer Darren Wilson. Eric Garner, a 43-year-old father, died this summer after NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo put him in a chokehold during an arrest for allegedly peddling untaxed, loose cigarettes. Grand juries recently declined to indict the officers in the deaths, refueling protests that began this summer over police violence against Blacks.
Pat Lynch, head of the New York police union, blamed New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and vocal civil rights leaders for the cop slayings, accusing them of stoking hate against the law enforcement in their support of protesters. A phalanx of officers on both sides of a hallway turned their backs on the mayor Saturday as he visited the hospital where the slain officers died.
But the mayor and rights leaders, including the Rev. Al Sharpton, pushed back, calling both issues separate. They urged the city to use the moment to reflect on the lives and families of the slain officers.
“In no way does the NAACP support this act of vigilante justice by a troubled individual, the NAACP said in a statement released Sunday. “While our criminal justice system is not without deep and divisive flaws, we know that police officers, who risk their own safety for ours, play a critical and necessary role in keeping every community safe.”
Color of Change, a virtual civil rights group, also disparaged Brinsley’s actions.
“We condemn any and all forms of violence, including violence perpetrated by and against police officers,” a statement by the group reads, the Huffington Post writes. The group also urged police to not use the NYPD deaths as an excuse for more violence towards civilians.
Brown’s family also issued a statement, expressing sympathy for the officers’ families and saying they “reject any kind of violence directed toward members of law enforcement, the Huffington Post writes.