Over the past week, we at CVT have watched in horror as events have unfolded in the streets of the U.S., including the shooting deaths by police of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge and Philando Castile in St. Paul, as well as the horrific mass shooting of police officers in Dallas who were protecting citizens as they lawfully protested. These individuals - along with the many others whose lives have been unjustly taken as a result of violence - are in our hearts as we process these tragedies, as well as the protests, arguments and violence that have arisen as a result.
Every day at CVT, we work with men, women and children who have survived atrocious human rights violations. We listen to and care for them as they undertake the difficult work of rebuilding their lives after trauma. We hear their stories. We work to support them in relieving their burdens. Many of our clients have lived and continued to live through the instability of conflict and threat of violence every day, and it is our role to hear them and help them reconnect with themselves, their families and communities.
As a human rights and humanitarian organization, CVT stands with those whose rights have been violated. We stand with Black Americans and other minorities, whose lives have been shown for years to matter far too little to too many in positions of authority. Law enforcement officers swear a duty to protect the members of the community they serve, and their role in preventing crime and keeping communities safe is essential. As they wield the power of the state, that authority must be exercised in accordance with the law. And those laws and their implementation should require the use of lethal force only as a last resort.
As an organization headquartered in St. Paul, CVT joins those in our community calling for a prompt, thorough, impartial and independent investigation of the events surrounding the death of Philando Castile, and that anyone found responsible for violations of the law be brought to justice. And as an organization dedicated to healing the wounds of the most egregious human rights violations, CVT stands with those whose rights must be recognized and protected.