The Green Party of the United States expressed condolences for members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina Friday, and said the killing of nine people at the church Wednesday evening was an indicator of the persistence of racism in the U.S.
In a statement, Green Party leaders said “abuses in the criminal justice system, including record-high incarceration rates, have escalated to the point of national crisis,” and said governmental and law enforcement responses “to the ongoing justice-system violations of the basic human and legal rights of People of Color have been superficial, inadequate, or nonexistent.”
Green Party Black Caucus Co-Chair Thomas Muhammad said, “The Green Party calls mass incarceration, excessive police and prosecutorial power, and extreme racial disparities in arrests, prosecution, and conviction a national emergency that requires emergency measures. Minimal efforts by Democrats and Republicans to address this crisis, along with their role in supporting the war on drugs and passage of draconian laws, have placed both parties on the wrong side of this crisis.”
The Green Party said it selected St. Louis as the site of its July 23-26 annual meeting “in part because the region has been a focal point for complaints about the criminal justice system.”