VIRGINIA In reaction to the police shooting of Isaiah Brown, a Black gay man, who was shot by police 10 times after calling 911 for assistance and declaring he was unarmed, David Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition, a leading civil rights group, issued the following statement:
"Words do not exist to adequately convey the frustration, anger, and sadness associated with the continued violence that Black people face at the hands of the police. The terror and fear that we may have our lives stolen by a police officer who deems themself judge, jury, and executioner is overwhelming.
"Isaiah Brown should not be hospitalized in critical condition. He should be living his life as he has always lived it - in service to others as an essential worker and health aide. All reporting indicates that Brown complied with orders, which included raising his arms with his cell phone in hand, and informing the 911 dispatcher he was unarmed ahead of police arrival.
"Isaiah's Black and gay/same gender loving identity will likely make it more difficult for his family to attain accountability for the officer responsible. Still, Black LGBTQ+ people continue to die by violence, often unreported, perpetrated by police officers and other state sanctioned actors who do not value Black Lives Matter.
"We echo the Brown family's demands that all audio recordings associated with this shooting be released to the public. Additionally, that the police officer in question, who made careless and basic errors while violating police protocols, should be held accountable.
"We will continue to advance efforts that aim to reform national policy in attempt to prevent this from happening to another member of our community again."
The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is America's leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+, and same gender loving (LGBTQ+/SGL) people, including people living with HIV.