Jimmy Carter’s charity calls for “painful but necessary reflection” after Rayshard Brooks’ death in Atlanta

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“The death of another African-American man, Rayshard Brooks, at the hands of the police in Atlanta last week underlines once again that America must tackle its long history of systemic racism and guarantee full respect and protecting the human rights of all, as set out in our Bill of Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “said the Atlanta-based Carter Center in a statement.

The statement comes after Brooks, 27, was shot dead by an officer in Wendy’s driving service in Atlanta after police moved to handcuff him for suspected influence, according to video footage of the scene. The incident followed weeks of national protests demanding an end to systemic racism and police reform following the recent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor.

“Throughout our nation’s history, the excessive use of force against African Americans by the police and others has continued with impunity. In our own city and in our own state, the recent assassinations and the state’s inability to prosecute the perpetrators of anti-black violence have shocked the nation and caused particular grief to the Georgians already shocked by the murder of Ahmaud Arbery and the painful recognition that racially motivated attacks are common in the United States, “said the Carter Center.

“While Black Americans have lived this reality for hundreds of years, many other Americans are just facing this painful violence because of video evidence that brutally exposes long-standing injustices,” the statement said. adding that “now is the time for deep and sometimes painful but necessary reflection – followed by concerted action. “

Carter said in a statement after Floyd’s death last month that “silence can be as deadly as violence”, and called on Americans in positions of “power, privilege and moral conscience” to fight racial discrimination.

“People of power, privilege and moral conscience must stand up and say” no more “to a racially discriminatory police and justice system, to the immoral economic disparities between black and white and to government actions that undermine our unified democracy. We are responsible for creating a world of peace and equality for ourselves and future generations, “he said at the time.

“We need a government as good as its people, and we are better than that. ”

Earlier on Tuesday, President Donald Trump took his first concrete steps to respond to growing national outcry by announcing an executive order that, among other things, creates a federal database of police officers with a history of excessive use of force.

The order comes as Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill work to advance two police reform bills, Democratic legislation going further in several ways by prohibiting strangulation and warrants.

The Carter Center added on Tuesday that “as an international organization based in the United States, we regret that true equality has not been achieved in our country.”

“As we work in solidarity with local and national partners, we will continue to seek their wisdom to ensure that all of our programs reflect an understanding of history. ”

This story was updated with more from the Carter Center statement.

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