The mission of Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV) is to work to reduce violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals, and those perceived as LGBT, in the District of Columbia through community outreach, education, and monitoring of cases to ensure the rights and dignity of LGBT victims are respected and protected. GLOV also seeks to assist victims of anti-LGBT violence by advocating on their behalf, encouraging reporting, and providing a community of support. Click here for more information.
GLOV Statement on Recent Events in Ferguson, MO
As an organization committed to fostering partnership rather than hostility between police and the communities they serve, Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV) strongly condemns the actions of Officer Darren Wilson and stands with those in Ferguson and around the world who continue to protest his unacceptable acts.
Although we do not have all of the facts to which the grand jury was privy, and recognize that such juries must work within a flawed system of laws, GLOV also firmly rejects the finding that an officer who used lethal force against an unarmed person committed no crime. The deprivation of a young person’s life by someone sworn to serve and protect is unacceptable, and the grand jury’s finding to the contrary is an affront to the basic principles of justice that are essential to our democracy.
While we believe Officer Wilson should be held accountable for his indefensible acts, we also believe that broader systemic reform is needed. The law should be unambiguous in barring the use of lethal force against unarmed civilians. Police policies and procedures should ensure that every effort is made to find nonviolent solutions.
The need for systemic change cannot be overstated. The militarization of police forces, combined with the belief that officers are themselves above the law, represents a grave threat to our democracy. Major institutional reform is needed to ensure that this culture of violence and oppression is stamped out. Until then, we fear that communities across the U.S. – particularly marginalized communities, such as communities of color, low-income communities, and LGBT populations – will not cease being harmed by these institutional failures.
As we continue to mourn the loss of Michael Brown, we seek to recommit ourselves to the values of justice, fairness, and respect for life that were the catalyst for GLOV’s very creation. While we cannot bring back this young man’s life or bring his killer to justice, we can and will move forward – with reflection and humility – in challenging the culture that permitted this crime.
November 26, 2014