Alton Sterling Case Must Prompt Changes in Police Practices

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Alton Sterling Case Must Prompt Changes in Police Practices

For Immediate Release
Cindy Hoffman: 202 524 5330

Statement by Casey Harden, Interim CEO of YWCA USA

“Our hearts go out to the family of Alton Sterling and the Baton Rouge community. The decision to not prosecute the police officers responsible for Mr. Sterling’s death is a terrible injustice. YWCA joins others whom we know are deeply troubled by the lack of accountability for unjustified police violence against individuals and communities of color. This is not an isolated incident. These senseless deaths at the hands of police officers must stop and it’s time the Department of Justice prosecuted these crimes.

“The decision creates a deeper distrust in law enforcement and our system of justice. It is the responsibility of our justice system to hold individuals involved accountable for their actions. That did not happen today.

“YWCA will continue to take steps to end systemic racism. Communities of color experience disproportionately high rates of unnecessary and excessive force by law enforcement. Racial profiling and the overall criminalization of communities of color reinforce dangerous behavior and lead to dire consequences for those who are targeted.

“We must end racial profiling and demand police accountability. Data collection, training, and community-informed policing are all steps in the right direction. In our justice systems, in our media, and our interactions with one another, we can all work to dismantle hate, injustice, and biases that contribute to the criminalization of communities of color. Everyone deserves equal protection under the law, and we must take real steps to ensure that happens.”


YWCA USA is on a mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. We are one of the oldest and largest women’s organizations in the nation, serving over 2 million women, girls, and their families each year. Learn more: