WFP Statement: New Yorkers Must Strive to Come Together

New York Working Families Party Director Bill Lipton made the following statement tonight:

Today we joined with Mayor de Blasio and all of New York City in a moment of silence to honor the memories of Officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos. As the Mayor said yesterday, this unconscionable attack was “an attack on our democracy and our values,” an attack on all of us. The names of Liu and Ramos are now etched onto the list of New Yorkers unfairly and brutally cut down before their time, which sadly includes Eric Garner, Ramarley Graham, Akai Gurley and far too many others. We wish peace for all their families. Now is a time when New Yorkers must strive to come together, to resist succumbing to the forces and factors which divide us, and rededicate ourselves to bridging those differences in order to build a more just and peaceful city.

The women and men who assume the daily responsibility of serving and protecting our communities deserve to be honored and praised. But their commitment should not be counterposed or used to attack the ideals and aspirations of those who protest for justice.

We aspire to live in a city, in a society, in which no parent has to fear for the safety of a child — not the parents of a police officer, nor the parents of Black youth. Safety for one must not be put in contradiction to safety for the other.

Bridging the cultural and historical factors which too often divide our communities will not be easy. That is why we strongly condemn the hateful language of those who seek to squash a movement against violence by blaming it for actions of a violent killer, or those who equate calls for changes in police practice to creating an environment which leads to the killing of police officers. Such rhetoric is divisive, it’s unconscionable, and it puts both police officers and communities at further risk.

We are proud to be a part of the growing national movement that believes Black lives matter and seeks to end the systemic violence against people of color. This moment demands that we mourn all lives lost, and recommit ourselves to a New York that is safe and just for all of us.