Movement for Black Lives Statement on Police Murder of Jayland Walker
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 7, 2022
WASHINGTON DC — After the brutal police murder of 25-year-old Jayland Walker in Akron, Ohio, last week, the Movement for Black Lives issued the following statement:
“The police have killed more than 500 people this year and Jayland Walker is one of them. Jayland was 25. He was a brother and son, who deserved to live a long, thriving life, but was shot 60 or more times by those we’re told are entrusted and paid to protect and serve.
For this reason, the Movement for Black Lives and our accomplices are organizing to divest from the anti-Black, white supremacist institution of policing which has never shown regard for Black people, and to invest in a vision of public safety that values Black life.
The time is now to invest in people, not police.
When we talk about defunding the police, we’re talking about making a major pivot in national priorities. We need to see a shift from massive spending on police that don’t keep us safe to a massive investment in a shared vision of community safety that actually works.
Black people deserve to live free of fear. Where a routine traffic stop is not a death sentence. Where we are actually safe — and surrounded by people who love us. Specific reforms are insufficient and too narrow in scope to make a meaningful difference; if piecemeal reforms worked, they would have worked by now. Current forms of policing are outdated and dangerous. Our only hope for the system we need is to reinvest in a shared vision of community safety, infrastructure, and recovery that does not rely on the police.
We are grieving for Jayland and his family and organizing for a world where Black people can live free of fear and care for our families. We will not rest until we have public safety that protects, defends, and celebrates Black people in the living.”
The Movement for Black Lives is a national network of more than 150 leaders and organizations creating a broad political home for Black people to learn, organize and take action. M4BL includes activists, organizers, academics, lawyers, educators, health workers, artists and more, all unified in a radical vision for Black liberation and working for equity, justice and healing.