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VLBC Mourns the Deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd & Calls on the Crime Commission to Immediately Take Action in the Commonwealth

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From the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus:

VLBC Mourns the Deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd & Calls on the Crime Commission to Immediately Take Action in the Commonwealth

This morning as Black Americans around our country rose for another day, the pain we feel at the loss of more Black lives is immeasurable. This infliction of pain cannot go on. Our patience has run out and we join in the outpour of calls for changes to the broken systems that continue to devalue Black lives.

As the world tragically witnessed the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd our souls ache and our hearts hurt. Black communities in the Commonwealth are no exception and are a breath away from experiencing more of this tragedy and pain. Mass protests and unrest are happening all around us, and the message from this unrest is loud and clear. Now more than ever reform must happen.

As Black leaders in our legislature we are prepared to take action in a way that our Commonwealth has not seen before. But this work is not ours to do alone. Virginia has a Crime Commission that is structured to do this work. It’s imperative that this Commission is representative of leaders that have a proven-record of tearing down institutional racism in our criminal justice system. This Commission must begin meeting immediately to consider the policies before them that will put in place proactive measures to ensure justice.

In addition, leaders at every level of government have a responsibility to clearly and strongly call out racism and bigotry. We urge them to join us in putting forward a legislative package that tears down institutional racism in our criminal justice system, eliminates racial disparities in healthcare, income and wealth, employment, housing, education and many other areas.

The State of Minnesota’s Working Group on Police-Involved Deadly Force Encounters identified 28 recommendations and 33 action steps for reducing deadly force encounters with law enforcement in their state. The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus (VLBC) supports these recommendations and actions.

As we continue to work through this painful time we stand in solidarity with all people across our Commonwealth and across our nation who strive for equality, equity, and justice.

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The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus (VLBC) is made up of 23 members in the Virginia General Assembly. VLBC is committed to improving the economic, educational, political, and social conditions of African Americans and underrepresented groups in Virginia. A vital part of VLBC’s mission is to raise the consciousness of other groups to the contributions made by African Americans to the Commonwealth and the Nation.