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Denise Rolark-Barnes, Bernal Smith, Benjamin Chavis, Jr.

Denise Rolark Barnes, Bernal E. Smith II, Dr. Benjamin Chavis, Jr.

Washington, DC: The nation’s largest trade association of African American owned newspapers and media companies, the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), today declared the existence of a police brutality state of emergency in the United States with respect to Black America.

Denise Rolark Barnes, Chairman of the NNPA and publisher of The Washington Informer; Bernal E. Smith II, member of the NNPA Board of Directors and publisher of The New Tri-State Defender; and Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., President and CEO of the NNPA, jointly stated,

“Millions of our readers across the nation are once again outraged at the latest fatal incidents of police brutality in Tulsa, OK and Charlotte, NC. These are not isolated incidents, but are a deadly national pattern of police violence and prosecutorial misconduct.  A state of emergency now exists in Black America.”

“The NNPA calls urgently upon President Barack Obama, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and members of the U.S. Congress to immediately:

Appoint a Special Federal Prosecutor on Police Brutality

Establish a National Police Oversight Commission on Use of Deadly Force, Training and Cultural Sensitivity

Create a National Police Brutality and Misconduct Database that is publicly accessible

Establish tougher federal penalties for police officers and prosecutors who violate constitutional rights.

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