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Racist policing harms our children and families

The 16-minute audio recording of a Lexington police chief boasting about allegedly killing people of color in the line of duty and shooting a Black man 119 times is deeply disturbing and racist. The recording indicates a serious and immediate threat to the safety and dignity of Lexington’s mostly Black community, while further eroding public trust in the institutions and people sworn to protect them.

We have witnessed far too many police-related killings that are seemingly caused by deeply held practices and beliefs rooted in racism. Lexington residents have shared chilling accounts of systemic intimidation by police. This latest news cycle exposes yet again how such a culture of racism in policing is harming our children and families of color and instilling a level of fear. 

As partners in the ongoing work to create a more equitable Mississippi where all children and families can thrive, we support the Lexington community and their call for an investigation by the FBI into criminal and civil rights violations. And we call on all levels of government to face the historic and systemic racist policies embedded in its institutions. Local governments, which are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of families, must listen to their communities, and our state and national leaders must enact police reform and create accountability measures that protect families first. There are no excuses.

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