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BLACK LAW ENFORCEMENT CALLS FOR FULL INVESTIGATION OF CHICAGO CEMETARY ATROCITIES

Dated: Friday July 10, 2009

National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers Speak Out In Support of Families and Community

The reported desecration of nearly 300 graves in the historically African American Burr Oak Cemetery in suburban Chicago, IL, the final resting place of Emmett Till, Dinah Washington, Ezzard Charles, Willie Dixon, Otis Spann and others acclaimed in the African American community-at-large, by cemetery employees for reselling must be considered not only startling and revolting in its revelation, but despicable, inhumane and degradable. And for this unspeakable offense against the community to have been allegedly perpetrated by members of that same African American community has made this so much more unthinkably cruel and heartless.

As an organization of men and women sworn to uphold the laws of our communities and provide them with protection and safety, the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc applauds the quick and forceful reaction of the Cook County Sheriffs Office in identifying the alleged perpetrators of this heinous crime. We join with the community in their anger and grief at the destruction and devastation that has been wrought.

Yet we must surely ask if culpability rests solely with those who are currently under investigation, and whether their identification as principal suspects will culminate the investigative efforts now being made. It is in this concept that we most adamantly call for a full, complete, thorough and transparent investigation of all persons and entities connected with the ownership, management and care of Burr Oak Cemetery, to include the owners and managers of Perpetua Holdings.

Finally, to those whose cherished loved ones have been so blatantly violated, we acknowledge that no words of consolation can, or likely ever will, assuage your pain, anger and sorrow. Yet we wish you to know that we join you in your grief, as this is an insult to all in the African American community. Our hearts and prayers will reach out to you; our thoughts will continue to be for you.

The National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc, a 501.(c).(3) non-profit, is a premier national organization representing the interests and concerns of African American, Latino and other criminal justice practitioners of color serving in law enforcement, corrections, and investigative agencies throughout the United States, and the communities in which they serve.

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