11/25/2014 07:46 am ET Updated Jan 25, 2015

On the Darren Wilson Grand Jury Decision

This is a sad day.

The grand jury's decision is yet another sign that all of America's sons' lives are not yet valued equally in the eyes of our courts. All of America's fathers, mothers and children should stay outraged and in motion for progress until we are finally what we say we are: One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for All.

We must finally ensure police can be held accountable for killing unarmed civilians. We must win national standards for both the use of force and use of force training. We must require the use of body cameras on police officers. We must force the removal of any mayor or police chief who cannot ensure the minimum requirement of any public safety agenda: that the police uphold their oath and protect and respect the lives of all civilians. The time has long since come for the behavior of America's police to reflect her people's values by respecting the sanctity of each of our lives no matter our race, gender, or class.

The path to these goals is focused advocacy and, where necessary, non-violent direct action. Those are the strategies that led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act and Civil Rights Acts 50 years ago and the outlawing of racial profiling in New York City just two years ago.

Today we are all Michael Brown. Tomorrow we must ensure each of our lives is valued equally in the eyes of our nation's laws, law enforcement officers, and courts.


Ben Jealous, Partner at Kapor Capital, immediate past President and CEO of the NAACP, and Chairman of the Southern Elections Fund, released this statement following the announcement that a grand jury had chosen not to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown: