Our systems are not just broken, they have been persistently murderous and cruel. On Sunday, April 11, 2021, a police officer shot and killed Daunte Wright after being pulled over for having an expired registration. On April 15, 2021, police released body camera footage revealing a police officer who shot 13-year old Adam Toledo in the chest while he had his arms up.
Black and Brown people are being killed.
Daunte Wright ought to still be alive, and his son not fatherless. Adam Toledo ought to have the rest of his childhood in front of him. George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Eric Garner. Michael Brown. Should all be alive. Our words feel incessant naming the Black and Brown lives lost at the hands of blatantly negligent police.
The California Association of School Social Workers (CASSW), California Society for Clinical Social Work (CSCSW), and National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter mourn yet more unnecessary and painful losses for our Black and Brown communities. We stand with these communities to demand swift justice in the name of Daunte Wright, Adam Toledo, and the countless others that have fallen victim to the social imprisonment, oppression, and disempowerment of the carceral state that embody our current criminal justice system. When law enforcement opts to serve, they commit themselves to do precisely that, to help, to care, and to protect. Instead, our governments have decided to perpetuate racist practices that create ongoing platforms for anti-Blackness and white supremist ideologies.
We reaffirm Black Lives Matter. We reaffirm that racism needs to end. We call on our members, our allies, and the broader field to respond. Check in with your Black and Brown colleagues, your Black and Brown communities and clients. Our Code of Ethics maintains our responsibility as advocates for social justice to work to end discrimination, act to expand opportunity, and seek to preserve equity and liberation for all. CASSW, CSCSW, and NASW-CA explicitly reassert our commitment and action to advocate for state-level policies that encompass anti-racism principles to advance safety and justice for Black and Brown communities. We call on our membership and our allies to advocate within your own organizations for the systemic change that needs to happen. We call on you to call in racist policies and practices, to create space for and lift up Black and Brown voices, and to invest in programs and services that center Black and Brown needs.
Collectively we can move action to cease these horrific headlines, once and for all.