Our Anger is Justified

The system has failed us. Again.

Today, it was announced that the grand jury failed to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo. Accused of selling loose cigarettes outside of a convenience store in Staten Island, Eric Garner was unarmed, and repeatedly gasped, "I can't breathe." But his pleas were ignored. A member of the NYPD, Officer Pantaleo placed the asthmatic Eric Garner in a chokehold, which ultimately led to his preventable and untimely death.

Medical examiners ruled Eric Garner's death a homicide, the cause being the illegal chokehold in which he was placed. Chokeholds have been banned in NYPD practice since 1993. The illegal act was filmed on camera for the world to see and yet there's no indictment.

We are a predominately Black and Latino youth organization. We are thoroughly exhausted of seeing people who look like us targeted and discriminated against by law enforcement. We are thoroughly exhausted from the rampant injustice that expectedly follows. We are thoroughly exhausted of faux experts and others marred in denial constantly telling us that the murder of Black and Latino men and women is legally justified and morally acceptable.

As a youth-led advocacy organization, we deem it necessary to take an active role in changing a predatory society that impedes upward social mobility for people of color. As youth of color, we are most vulnerable in a society that promotes and protects the racial injustice we face. This is why we, along with Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, organized a massive demonstration on Black Friday to raise awareness about how economic freedom underscores racial justice.

These actions must continue. On December 11th, we will be hosting a Youth Town Hall Meeting on Police Brutality. In this safe space, we will learn about how to rework police and community relations in a manner that keeps our streets and ourselves safe. It is time that people heard the voices of the young as we maneuver through a system that kills us.