Omega demands swift passage of Georgia Hate Crime Bill when legislators return in June.
by OPPF Editorial Board. May 8, 2020.
The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity applauds that authorities have arrested and filed murder charges against the men accused in the brutal and unspeakable killing of Ahmaud Arbery.
Yet, we all know that more needs to be done.
Sadly, Georgia does not have a hate crime law that would address this unspeakable tragedy. That needs to change immediately. Omega demands swift action by the passage of a Georgia Hate Crime Bill when legislators return in June.
This is important because the immediate passage of Georgia house and senate bills that were introduced earlier this year would enhance penalties for hate crimes.
We are mobilizing our members to sign petitions as well as contact their legislative representatives and Georgia Governor Brian Kemp for decisive and corrective action.
For Immediate Release
STATEMENT OF FIVE NPHC FRATERNITY PRESIDENTS ON KILLING OF UNARMED BLACK JOGGER
MAY 6, 2020 – The presidents of the five National Pan-Hellenic Council fraternities, namely: Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., and Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc., have all individually and collectively spoken out against what we believe are the unlawful killings of unarmed Black people by law enforcement and civilians alike over the years.
In addition, we have advocated to address and repeal controversial laws like Stand Your Ground, and now Citizen Arrest, that are being used to hunt and murder those in our community with impunity.
The newly released graphic video of the killing of an unarmed Ahmaud Arbery by a former white law enforcement officer and his son while jogging through a suburb of Georgia in February should stir outrage among all Americans. The footage conjures images of racist, white lynch mobs, or slave catchers, from an obviously not-so-distant Southern past.
Today, we call for the filing of criminal charges and the immediate arrest of Gregory McMichael, a former police officer and district attorney’s investigator, and his son, Travis McMichael, for the killing of Mr. Arbery; and a formal investigation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) and/or The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
The American justice system can no longer afford to offer different sets of rules for citizens on the basis of race, color, or affiliations to law enforcement. The narrative that people of color are somehow more suspicious or dangerous than their white counterparts when exercising normal, routine activities, and that white citizens have the authority and right to question or intervene must be changed.
We have seen this far too many times, with deadly outcomes. Time and time again, numerous unarmed African Americans have been killed, and it has taken video footage to surface and become viral for those sworn to uphold the law to act.
This must end now.
Our prayers and hearts are with the family and friends of Ahmaud Arbery, and anyone else, of conscience, who is struggling to come to grips with this both vicious and tragic loss. While we too mourn this loss, we refuse to remain silent and will continue to fight and advocate for equal justice for the communities we represent.
The five NPHC presidents include: Everett B. Ward, Ph.D., General President, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; Reuben A. Shelton, III, Esq., Grand Polemarch, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.; David Marion, Ph.D., Grand Basileus, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.; Michael E. Cristal,
International President, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.; and Andre Manson, Grand Polaris, Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.
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