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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Statements by President Obama, Attorney General Lynch on the Situation in Baltimore, Maryland Surrounding the Death of Freddie Gray








Statements by President Barack Obama, Attorney General Lynch, and Publisher Aubrey R. Taylor on the Situation in Baltimore, Maryland Surrounding the Death of Freddie Gray

HOUSTON BUSINESS CONNECTIONS REPORTS

AUBREY R. TAYLOR: "As a nation of law abiding citizens we must employ the spirit of patience and civility as we allow the process of justice to run its course. Violence, rioting, and upheaval will not solve any of the problems or issues facing us as a nation. Nor will continuing to ignore the plight, voice, and injustices that continue to haunt us as a nation of free people. So, I strongly encourage you to keep our nation in your prayers as we work through this very difficult and daunting process of realizing our goal of living as "ONE NATION UNDER GOD" in America.

WE MUST PUT GOD FIRST 

As we endeavor to realize the justice, equality, and the freedoms we so desperately seek, let's not forget that we must actively participate in the process of realizing the hopes, goals, dreams, and ambitions that God has in mind for us . So, with this in mind, rather than looking for Republicans or Democrats to deliver us, I submit that we should all begin the process of putting forth our very best effort to ensure that we are placing, appointing, and electing people of God (with the relevant experience and heart to help us) into positions of authority on the local, state, and federal level."

LET'S THRIVE TOGETHER

New International Version: "When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan." -- PROVERBS 29:2



Attorney General Loretta Lynch released the following statement on the situation in Baltimore, Maryland:

“I condemn the senseless acts of violence by some individuals in Baltimore that have resulted in harm to law enforcement officers, destruction of property and a shattering of the peace in the city of Baltimore. Those who commit violent actions, ostensibly in protest of the death of Freddie Gray, do a disservice to his family, to his loved ones, and to legitimate peaceful protestors who are working to improve their community for all its residents.

“The Department of Justice stands ready to provide any assistance that might be helpful. The Civil Rights Division and the FBI have an ongoing, independent criminal civil rights investigation into the tragic death of Mr. Gray. We will continue our careful and deliberate examination of the facts in the coming days and weeks. The department’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services has also been fully engaged in a collaborative review of the Baltimore City Police Department. The department’s Community Relations Service has already been on the ground, and they are sending additional resources as they continue to work with all parties to reduce tensions and promote the safety of the community. And in the coming days, Vanita Gupta, head of the Civil Rights Division, and Ronald Davis, Director of Community Oriented Policing Services, will be traveling to Baltimore to meet with faith and community leaders, as well as city officials.

“As our investigative process continues, I strongly urge every member of the Baltimore community to adhere to the principles of nonviolence. In the days ahead, I intend to work with leaders throughout Baltimore to ensure that we can protect the security and civil rights of all residents. And I will bring the full resources of the Department of Justice to bear in protecting those under threat, investigating wrongdoing, and securing an end to violence.”



President Obama on Freddie Gray’s Death: "This is Not New, and We Shouldn’t Pretend that It’s New."

On April 12, Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old native of Baltimore, was arrested by the city’s police. He died a week later.

The Department of Justice is now investigating the events that led to his death and today, President Obama offered his thoughts to the family and friends of Freddie Gray who are appropriately looking for answers while at the same time making clear there is “no excuse” for violence.

He noted that events in Baltimore called attention to the urgent need throughout the country to build trust between communities and their police.

“We have some soul-searching to do. This is not new. It’s been going on for decades.” – President Obama

Every American has role to play in tackling this longstanding challenge. "We don't just pay attention to these communities when a CVS burns, and we don’t just pay attention when a young man gets shot or has his spine snapped," the President said. We should be “paying attention all the time because we consider those kids our kids, and we think they’re important and that they shouldn’t be living in poverty and violence.”

That is why President Obama is committed to promoting policies that would make a difference on unemployment, poverty, and other serious social challenges that continue to afflict too many communities across the country.

The President is also working with police departments and community leaders to implement recommendations from his Task Force on 21st Century Policing to help build trust between communities and law enforcement while maintaining public safety. From adopting new technologies to build trust to prioritizing de-escalation and avoiding provocative tactics to enhancing officer safety and wellness, these recommendations can begin to build a culture of trust that is needed to promote safety and justice in every community and for every individual, no matter who they are.

Learn more about the President’s Task Force on Community Policing here by visiting: https://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/03/02/what-21st-century-policing-means


CUTLINE FOR TOP PHOTO: President Barack Obama speaks to the press after a meeting with members of the President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, March 2, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)