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Grand Basileus Tony Knox
For Immediate Release
Contact: Terry W. Spicer, Publicist
Epiphany Public Relations,
Telephone: (919) 830-9049
Email: twspicer@epiphanyprnc.com
Message from Bro. Antonio F. Knox, Sr., 40th Grand Basileus on Three Recent Shootings Across the Country

Giving Honor to God, My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

The tragic loss of the lives of African American men around the nation at the hands of law enforcement has become a repeat pattern of epidemic and shameful proportion. We have heard their explanations that their actions were justified, we have seen the viral videos of witnesses in real time, we have seen the protests rise in response and we have seen the heartbroken families deal with the burden of burying their loved ones too soon. This vicious cycle must STOP! The questions continue to be raised regarding those that are supposed to protect and defend. Why is "shoot to kill" their chosen and immediate response? Is it because of their lack of proper training? Is it fear, poor judgement, hatred, lack of respect, brutality or just a desire to kill? There is no good answer and neither brings back the life of a loved one lost to these senseless acts of violence at the hands of those sworn to protect. We must work together to find the answer.

I know the Chief of Police of Charlotte, North Carolina, personally and I trust that he will do what is right once all of the evidence is in, but the problem is much larger than Charlotte and peaceful protest and demonstrations have their place. While I do not know anyone in Law Enforcement in Tulsa yet, I pray that they will take the necessary and correct steps forward to do the right thing. Now that an arrest has been made we must work to ensure that there is a conviction without any surprises that will conveniently surface. A conviction will help to serve notice that it's time to legally hold those responsible accountable! Even as I crafted this letter, another killing happened near San Diego, CA and the narrative is the same. However, violent protest will not create the change that is desired in either city. Let's be really clear, taking a life is never acceptable or any different for the affected family at the hands of a friend, relative or associate which is a topic for another time, because nobody understands that either. This too must stop.

In the last week we lost three lives by police shootings, and another during the protest in Charlotte as a result of reactions in the city. We are all frustrated, angry, hurt and looking for answers. We must be who we are collectively, calmly and maintain the civility that is necessary to work together toward resolution. The unity of all races, social statuses and different organizations working together is a good thing and it shouldn't stop there nor should it be the only reason for coming together. It's time to take our efforts to the next level. Look for an upcoming important message; we need to get everyone to the table to create the change that is required forward.

Brothers, I ask you to be who you are. Remember who we represent and the purpose for being involved in our communities. Protest and demonstrations have a place, but there is much more to do and many ways to be involved. We want to make this world a better place and live without the fear of our children, brothers or friends losing their lives for no apparent reason other than being born African American. One way to participate is to go vote, invest in the election and get every person eligible out to vote. We have the collective power of casting our vote to ensure that the political leaders will work together at every level. We must take every office serious and know how each position will impact our community. If that occurs some of the systematic problems will go away.

Men of Omega, be strong, and be who you are as we work together to make a difference for our community. We are one!

Fraternally,
Brother Antonio F. Knox, Sr., 40th Grand Basileus

Since its humble beginnings on the Howard University campus, the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity continues to be on the front line, leveraging its power, influence and more than 100 years of commitment to the uplift of our people and our communities.
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. was founded on November 17, 1911, at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and is the first international fraternal organization to be founded on the campus of a historically black college.

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