The following statement was released by Keith Kelleher, president of SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri & Kansas, in response to the shooting of Ferguson, MO, resident Michael Brown and the unrest that is occurring there:
The aftermath of the tragic shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, reveals the urgent need for justice to prevail in order to bring a level of calm back to the community. The initial lack of information coming from the Ferguson Police Department and its militarized response to protesters has clearly erased any faith in local authorities to uncover the truth.
To that end, the members of SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Kansas call on Governor Jay Nixon to do everything in his authority to de-escalate the militarized atmosphere in Ferguson and allow residents to practice their 1st Amendment right to peaceful assembly and protest.
Additionally, we call on the governor to appoint an independent investigator to work along with the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice, who also have been called in to investigate.
Michael Brown was shot six times while unarmed. Some accounts indicate that his hands were raised in the air when shot. The community demands that someone be held accountable for this abuse of force.
We express our heartfelt sympathy to the family of Michael Brown and call on Gov. Nixon to move swiftly and with transparency to review the facts, inform the community and bring charges wherever the investigation shows that there was misconduct.
We also believe that it is only when people of good will unite and organize for racial and economic justice that incidents like this will cease to occur.