By Louis Chan & Ed Diokno
AsAmNews National Writers
(This post has been updated with Congressional response)
Asian American leaders joined the rest of the nation in expressing their heartfelt sadness following the horrendous police shootings that left five police officers dead and several more injured.
“I pray for the officers who lost their lives tonight, for their grieving families and our law enforcement brothers and sisters in Dallas,” said California Attorney General Kamala Harris whose mother is Indian American and father is Black. “Last night’s unspeakable violence reminds me of these words from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
“Violence only increases distrust and anger. I know firsthand that the relationship of trust between law enforcement and the communities we are sworn to serve is reciprocal. We honor the courage and sacrifice of law enforcement as we continue the important national dialogue around reforming our criminal justice system.”
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee also shared his thoughts this morning.
“This morning our hearts are heavy following the recent violence that has impacted communities across the country. We can and must stand against violence–violence against young men of color, violence against law enforcement officers and violence against our communities as a whole. We need to come together, have meaningful conversations about change and work together towards peace.
“In these sad times, when it seems nearly everyday we are greeted by more killing and more reason to grieve, we must remember what is right and what gives us hope. It is the bold, but peaceful protestors in the Black Lives Matter movement across the country who seek a safer, more perfect union through speech, the many brave police officers — such as those in Orlando — who unselfishly rush to save lives, and our San Francisco police officers who showed this week that reforms can take hold and the sanctity of life can be upheld. ”
Prior to the sniper incident last night in Dallas, Asian American Advancing Justice called on law enforcement nationwide to deescalate the situation.
“With their deaths, more than 500 people have been killed by police in 2016, and as a nation, we must find immediate and effective solutions to address practices of racial profiling and excessive use of force by law enforcement officers. We are facing an epidemic of African American fathers, sons, mothers, and daughters who are dying at the hands of police in this country. It must stop.
“As the nation’s leading legal and civil rights voice rooted in Asian American communities, we stand together with communities of color in the fight to end systemic police brutality. As the facts of each case surface, we ask the U.S. Department of Justice to not only investigate the fatal shooting of Mr. Sterling but also to investigate the shooting and death of Mr. Castile.
“In addition, we call for state and federal government leaders to act swiftly and decisively to implement policies, procedures, and legislative actions that address racial bias and profiling, police misconduct, and end excessive police use of force.
“We need law enforcement to commit to tactics that de-escalate or disarm, not result in more loss of lives in our communities of color. We want to ensure the motto “to serve and protect” rings true for all of our communities.”
Asian/American representatives in Congress also responded to the recent shootings in Dallas, Louisiana and Minnesota via their social media sites.
— Judy Chu (@RepJudyChu) July 8, 2016
— Rep. Mike Honda (@RepMikeHonda) July 7, 2016
Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Virginia, who is African & Filipino American, issued this statement:
“Less than a month after the mass shooting of club goers in Orlando, the Nation has witnessed yet another mass shooting. This time the targeted victims were police officers, who put their lives on the line each and every day. Last night’s shooting is especially tragic in that this ruthless, coordinated attack occurred as Dallas police officers were seen interacting collegially with peaceful protesters – the type of interaction we strive to see between law enforcement and the communities they are sworn to protect.
“These senseless and inexplicable acts of violence are a painful reminder that we all must work harder on efforts to build trust between law enforcement and our communities. We are all someone’s parent, child, and neighbor, and we must strive to see and respect the humanity in each other. My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the fallen officers.”
— Tammy Duckworth (@RepDuckworth) July 7, 2016
The attack on Dallas police officers was a heinous and despicable act. My heart is with the victims and their families.
— Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) July 8, 2016
— Mark Takano (@RepMarkTakano) July 7, 2016
Horrified by the murder of #Dallas police officers. Prayers to the families of the fallen officers, those injured & all in law enforcement.
— Grace Meng (@RepGraceMeng) July 8, 2016