By Ruth Ferguson, NDG Editor
Earlier this week, NDG spoke by phone with Minister Dominque Alexander, President & Founder at Next Generation Action Network (NGAN), the organization which organized the march on July 7, 2016. The event had drawn hundreds out to protest the shootings deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, which were just the latest incidents of unarmed black men killed by police around the country. The event in Downtown Dallas was a peaceful event until shots begin to ring out. As people scrambled for safety the police tried to protect everyone but in the meanwhile, five were killed. It was an event which shook Dallas, leading to events and memorials which included local, state and national leaders, including then President Barack Obama.
As the somber anniversary approached, Alexander spoke by phone while in route to a forum at Friendship West Baptist Church to discuss the aftermath of the police shootings.
“Our movement is not against the individual officers.,” Alexander pointed out. Instead, their focus is on, “the culture of policing and laws that are in place that allows them to get away with murder. As long these laws policies stay on the book, and as long as we make this about a single traffic stop, we are losing the basis for the conversation,” Alexander said.
NGAN made a deliberate decision to not hold an event on the actual date. However, they have actively participated in several including functions hosted by the police association. On Thursday evening NGAN did meet downtown again for Finish the March: A Defiance of Fear in an effort to finish what was interrupted tragically last year.
Looking back at last year Alexander said, “We protested for Alton Sterling and Philando Castile because we knew there will be a day when the prosecutors would not move forward.” In the Castile case, the officer was charged but a jury found him not guilty.e knew these officiers would get away with murder, and yet the world saw it on video and we cannot get justice, beucase of the laws and polices and laws.
“We knew these officers would get away with murder. The world saw it on video and we still cannot get justice, because of the laws and policies,” Alexander added. While he pointed to some progress made with the passage of the Sandra Bland Act, he believes the civil service protection laws need closer examination and revision.
Alexander was invited to participate in the review process for Dallas’ search for a new police chief to replace the retired David Brown, who is now an ABC News contributor and recently published a new book Called To Rise: A Life in Faithful Service to the Community That Made Me.