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National Black Law Enforcement Group Grieves For The Families of Deputies Atkins, Barthen and Garret


Dated: Sunday October 17, 2021

The National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc., as a body of career law enforcement professionals and individual members of the various African American communities we serve, join with the members of the Harris County, Texas Constable’s Department, and the families of Deputy Kareem Atkins, Juqaim Barthen, and Darryl Garret in voicing our outrage and sorrow at the assault which left Deputy Atkins killed on scene, and Deputies Barthen and Garret seriously injured. The cowardly and despicable manner in which they were attacked must, and should, be repudiated by all sensible and responsible persons, regardless of their racial background. The implications of the fact that these were three men of color who had dedicated their lives and careers to making the bonds and relationships between police and communities of color stronger and more viable, should not be overlooked as it makes this assault the more egregious.

As it was so eloquently stated by former President Barack Obama in 2016 after the ambush and assassination of officers in Louisiana, “…nothing justifies attacks on police officers.” No amount of anger and frustration about the ills of the system should ever be used as a cause or excuse to assault or assassinate law enforcement officers who are simply doing their job. Regardless of community perceptions and beliefs pertaining to issues concerning police abuse, misconduct and excessive force, irrespective of the beliefs of those who wish to create mayhem – this is not the way to secure and sustain community justice. This type of insanity will not improve police-community relations; it will not bring about greater levels of police accountability; it will not advance the cause of social justice; it will not improve the status of life in the Black community; and it will not bring an end to the shootings of Black men by the police.

It must be painfully clear to all that this act of vicious violence has no place in our communities, just as the past and continued unnecessary death of young black men at the hands of police officers has no place. Yet these wanton acts of cowardice will only serve to further increase the likelihood that police officers will react more aggressively, and sometimes haphazardly, when addressing the needs of the Black community.

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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