African American Mayors Association Statement on the Deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile
(Washington, DC), On behalf of the 500 African American mayors across the country, Mayor Sly James of Kansas City, MO and President of the African American Mayors Association, released the following statement in response to the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile:
“Alton Sterling was a father of five and husband. Philando Castile was a beloved son. But, most of all, both of these men were human beings, and Americans, whose lives were cut short. Any time someone dies violently and a family member is lost, it is a tragedy and our hearts and minds go out to the family.
From Baltimore to Baton Rouge to Falcon Heights, mayors are at the forefront of working with police officials to ensure transparency in cases involving police shootings and call for thorough investigation and the earliest possible release of information. The African American Mayors Association commends the U.S. Department of Justice for its swift decision to launch a civil rights investigation into the Alton Sterling case, and hopes that similar, swift action is also taken in the Philando Castile case. We offer our support to the Mayors of Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights as they lead their cities through this challenging time.
The African American Mayors Association is committed to improving communication and trust between law enforcement and the citizens they are meant to serve and protect. We are likewise committed to police officer training on methods of de-escalation and disengagement for situations where the use of deadly force is unwarranted. We will continue this work, more committed than ever, to make our towns and cities safe for everyone.”