News from Representative Cummings

July 13, 2016

Dear Friend,

Last week was very difficult for our nation. Once again, America was confronted with our ugly legacy of racism and its pervasive effects on our criminal justice system. At the same time, we are all grieving the loss of five brave officers in the deadliest attack on American law enforcement since 9/11.
There are many who want us to believe that we cannot ask for transparency, accountability and good policing, while also seeking to ensure that our officers return to their families at the end of each shift. Those people only wish to sow discord.
This is a critical moment for America and one thing is clear: we need to talk and listen to each other. If we are going to face this moment and overcome, all Americans are going to have to try to truly understand their neighbors.
While the investigations into the deaths of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota are ongoing, something must be done to improve policing nationwide. Police departments need better recruitment to ensure that the communities they serve are represented on the force, and they must have robust training on de-escalation techniques and recognizing implicit bias.
Our communities must also work to understand the very real threats our officers face every day.  In Dallas last week, as protesters fled the sound of gunfire, police officers ran toward it, and only through true dialogue can we begin to understand the risks they face.
It is also clear that we must address the scourge of gun violence in our streets. In Dallas, our police officers were outgunned by a mad man with an assault rifle. The images were surreal.  We need to get these weapons of war off our streets.
In this critical moment, we can choose to turn away from each other, or we can choose to embrace each other and build a better nation that values the life of every American.
I am confident that we will choose the latter.  Our children’s lives depend on it.


Elijah E. Cummings
Member of Congress

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