Veterans For Peace denounces the ongoing instances of police violence against people of color, this time resulting in the killing of Keith Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Terence Crutcher of Tulsa, Oklahoma. We also stand in opposition to the State of North Carolina’s militarized response to protests in Charlotte.
Learning nothing from the now seemingly endless examples of ineffective attempts to silence protests, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has deployed National Guard troops to Charlotte, in addition to answering a request from Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney for assistance from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.
Consider this along with recent comments from U.S. Congress member Robert Pittenger from North Carolina, claiming that the protesters “hate white people because white people are successful and they’re not.” The Congressman’s comments are not only blatantly ignorant and racist, but also incite more violence.
And more violence is what we have seen. We are appalled at the lack of response to the shooting death of a Charlotte protester and demand an investigation into how and why this protester was killed. It is the right of all people to participate in protest, and no one should fear for their lives when exercising their rights.
As Veterans For Peace, we know that increased militarization in our communities will never bring peace. We know that peace is only achieved with a strong commitment to justice. We have seen perfectly reasonable demands from protesters and community members that have so far been ignored by the state and the Charlotte police. The family of Keith Scott deserves justice as do all victims of police violence.
Veterans For Peace is in solidarity with the people’s resistance in Charlotte. When an already embattled community is subjected to militarized intimidation, their environment becomes a war zone. We call on Governor McCrory to withdraw National Guard troops from Charlotte, and instead utilize community trust building strategies to maintain peace.