Both men, members of the 1960’s Freedom Riders, worked alongside Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the forefront of what can only be described as a historic struggle for racial justice and equality. Both suffered bloody beatings by the police during their fight for equality and justice for all people, and particularly people of color. Yet their accomplishments, after years of arrests, confrontations that shocked the senses of the nation that eventually galvanized support for key changes in the fight for equality, and unyielding demands for justice, garnered both men the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, presented by Barack Obama, the nation’s first African American President.
We grieve at the loss of these two civil rights legends and icons. However, their legacy will live on in our continued fight against racism, police abuse and misconduct, and the eternal quest for fair and equal treatment of all members of our community. They will be sorely missed.
The National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is a premier national organization representing the interests and concerns of nearly 9,000 African American, Latino and other criminal justice practitioners of color serving in law enforcement, corrections, and investigative agencies throughout the United States, and the communities in which they serve.