Statement of IBE President & CEO Tanya McKinzie on Recent Protests

The recent protests in Indianapolis and other cities across the country are in direct response to the systemic racism that has been ingrained in our criminal justice system for far too long. We are now witnessing a manifestation of anger, fear, and sadness among citizens in this country that is a result of watching too many shooting deaths of Black men and women without any penal consequences. The death of George Floyd has become the tipping point.

As IMPD has reported, the organized protests in Indianapolis have been peaceful. Unfortunately, after the sun sets, a group of agitators with intentions to create chaos through riots, looting, and violence defies our legal system and only jeopardizes our efforts. Such counterproductive actions only change the narrative that should focus on unchecked police brutality and an unjust criminal justice system.  We strongly condemn such violence, and criminal behavior and strongly urge peaceful protests.

Many are asking what is next? So many of us are tired of waiting for real justice that is long overdue. We are tired of having dialogue over and over that leads to no real solutions; we are tired of being pacified; we are tired of empty promises. The next step must involve rapid and bold changes that address racism and fundamental ways to reform a broken criminal justice system. Everyone responsible for justice must be held accountable. Our legal system and our country must recognize that Black lives matter.