CCR Executive Director Responds to NYPD Killing of Akai Gurley

November 21, 2014, New York – Today, Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) Executive Director Vincent Warren released the following statement in response to reports that a rookie NYPD officer fatally shot an unarmed black man in Brooklyn last night. The man, 28-year-old Akai Gurley, was shot in a stairwell in the Pink Houses housing project. He was with his girlfriend. 

Even as the world awaits word from grand juries in Ferguson and New York City on the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, this latest killing of an unarmed black man at the hands of police is a reminder of the systemic nature of state violence against people of color. How long will Black and Brown Americans have to live in fear that death at the hands of police can find them at any time for no fault of their own? This madness must stop. Having just returned from Ferguson, I know we are at a tipping point. Our communities have had enough. Black and Brown lives matter, and we will do whatever it takes for police departments to understand that and stop killing our people. 
The Center for Constitutional Rights led the landmark legal battle against racially discriminatory stop-and-frisk policies in the NYPD and is set to finally begin the joint reform process set out by the court. In addition, CCR helped recruit 250 lawyers and legal workers from around the country to help on the ground, as part of our work with the Ferguson Legal Defense Committee.

The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at


Last modified 

November 21, 2014