EBONY Calls for Bans on Chokeholds

The following statement is an open letter from EBONY Foundation:

To Our Elected Officials:

Since the recent tragic deaths of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, coupled with the tragic death of George Floyd and the recent tragic death of Rayshard Brooks, we have been witnessing the streets of America be ignited with literal and emotional flames of rage and anger from Americans of all walks of life who are fed up with the inhumane treatment of Black lives by members of law enforcement.

Perhaps unlike any other time in our Nation’s history, we have reached the threshold of a pivotal moment when real substantive policy changes can be made to chart the course for social justice for our communities. What we choose to do in this fleeting moment is critical; and when the demonstrations have ended and the news cycles have changed what remains should be a community united around common sense policy reforms.

For 75 years EBONY and JET Magazines have highlighted many of these injustices whether in the publication of 14-year old Emmett Till, whose open casket was published in 1955, to our publications’ coverage of police brutality that was perpetuated against nonviolent protesters during the Civil Rights Movement. Throughout the years, EBONY has showcased the evolution of the lives of Black and Brown people from athletes, inventors, media moguls, and politicians. Yet, no evolution for the cessation of Black lynchings. Subsequently, EBONY is calling upon all 500,000 U.S. elected officials to pass resolutions and executive orders eliminating choke holds and external investigations of excessive and deadly force tactics employed by members of law enforcement on residents in our communities.

Understanding that all politics is local, the EBONY Foundation is asking for city council members, mayors, governors, and county executives to pass resolutions eliminating choke holds of all kinds from the police force. If an officer is caught administering a choke hold, they should be placed on administrative leave without pay until a full investigation has been completed. Choke holds are archaic and barbaric practices that must be banned. Stated resolutions are easy to pass and immediately actionable within our communities.

EBONY and JET Magazine are committed to acknowledge and celebrate cities and townships in each of our media outlets for those leaders and communities who initiate this simple initiative. Join this cause for justice by establishing a resolution in your local community and share it with EBONY at [email protected] and we will post it!

Respectfully Yours,
Dr. Robert Shumake, CEO/Chairman


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