Atlanta, GA, June 14, 2020 … ADL (the Anti-Defamation League) and the NAACP today called for the swift passage of HB 426, the Georgia Hate Crimes legislation, and committed to working for further actions to reform the state’s antiquated criminal justice system. Both organizations issued a joint statement in the wake of the police shooting of Rayshard Brooks, an African American man on Friday night in Atlanta.
“Ahmaud Arbery. George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Rayshard Brooks. These and countless others have died at the hands of a criminal legal system that is deeply flawed and tainted with the legacy of dehumanizing violence and white supremacy,” said the Rev. James “Major” Woodall, State President of the Georgia NAACP. “We need a hate crimes law, now. We need to repeal Citizens Arrest. We need an end to voter suppression. We need police accountability. And we need friends and allies more than ever, as we are all in this fight for justice together. We are done dying and we need structural change.”
“We are shocked and horrified by the shooting of Rayshard Brooks in Georgia and we stand in solidarity with our African-American partners in calling for structural reform of our criminal justice system,” said Dr. Allison Padilla-Goodman, Vice President of ADL’s Southern Division. “ADL has been working to get hate crimes legislation passed for decades, and together with the NAACP, we call for the immediate passage of HB 426. Hate crimes are important due to their wide-reaching impact, and it is past time for Georgia to protect people’s identities. Passage of hate crimes legislation, however, is just a first step towards ending institutionalized racism and discrimination, and there is still much more work ahead of us to end police brutality and institutionalized racism in America.”
ADL and the NAACP are members of Hate Free Georgia, a diverse coalition of 35 organizations from across Georgia that is urging the Georgia legislature to pass a Hate Crimes bill to protect all Georgia citizens from bias-motivated violence. Georgia is one of just five states in the nation that does not protect its citizens against hate crimes, leaving victims without legal recourse.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has had an unbroken presence in Georgia since 1917. The Georgia NAACP maintains a network of branches throughout Georgia, from cities to small rural counties. The Georgia NAACP has been the most effective and consistent advocates for African American civil rights in Georgia. You can read more about the Georgia NAACP’s work and mission at naacpga.org.