Cummings Statement on Deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile

July 7, 2016
Press Release

Washington, D.C. (July 7, 2016)—Today, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) issued the following statement in response to the recent deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile:

“I join the families, friends and communities of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile in mourning the loss of what could have been. Once again, my heart aches at seeing the lives of Black men cut short at the hands of those who pledged to serve and protect them.  Stories of people of color killed while in police custody have become all too common, and it is beyond time for America to address the role of race in this country and its effects on policing.  I will be following both cases closely to ensure that we get answers about the circumstances that led to the deaths of these men, and to make sure that justice is served.

“As I told Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey at today’s Oversight Committee hearing, this morning I woke up to my wife crying while watching the videos of what happened in Baton Rouge and Minnesota.  At today’s hearing, I urged the FBI Director to watch them as well.  There are many excellent police officers in this country and I am grateful for that.  But we cannot continue to allow our Black men to be slaughtered.  It is so painful.  I am fortunate that as a 65-year-old African-American man moving toward the twilight of my life in this country, I have not been harmed by the police.  But I will tell you that I have been stopped what has felt like 50 million times, and I urged the Director to help us get a hold of these issues of policing in our nation.”

Click here for a video of Cummings’ exchange with FBI Director James Comey.