National League of Cities Statement on the Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

Washington, DC - The following statement can be attributed to the National League of Cities:The following statement can be attributed to the National League of Cities (NLC):

"The National League of Cities appeals for calm and reflection in Ferguson and cities across the country when the grand jury's decision is announced. All Americans must view the tragic death of Michael Brown as a call to conscience to create fairer and better communities.

"Everyone should respect the rule of law and understand that the grand jury reached its decision after consideration of the evidence presented. But the strong passions generated by Michael Brown's death should serve as a catalyst for Americans to dedicate themselves to higher ideals, greater community cohesion and a redoubling of efforts to achieve racial justice.

"In this spirit, NLC recommits itself to the important work already underway in cities to improve life outcomes for young men and boys of color. NLC, in coordination with cities across the nation, is working to create more equitable opportunities for young men of color to learn, grow and thrive, and is helping cities build safer neighborhoods for all residents. Specifically, NLC will continue to lend its strong support and expertise to President Obama's My Brothers' Keeper and the Cities United initiatives. Cities United, led by Mayors Michael Nutter and Mitch Landrieu, is an ambitious national movement to eliminate the violence-related deaths of African American men and boys while restoring hope and opportunity to our communities.

"NLC also calls on its members to reexamine their current policing policies to ensure that racial and ethnic bias does not increase the likelihood of future tragedies in our communities. With national partners, NLC will work to ensure that city leaders across the nation have greater access to the knowledge and resources they need to combat such bias. Key steps include adopting effective community policing models that engage the full range of local residents in efforts to build safe and healthy neighborhoods.

"Local officials have enormous opportunity to improve the lives of their residents and get people involved in the political process, and we encourage all our members to work with community leaders, church groups and advocates to build stronger bonds of trust between local governments and their residents." 

The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.