Solidarity with Mike Brown's family

In the days since the police killing of unarmed teenager Mike Brown on the streets of Ferguson, Mo., one thing has become all too clear: He is one of many Black men whose lives have been taken by America's criminal injustice system.

Another of those men is Troy Anthony Davis, who was put to death by the state of Georgia on September 21, 2011. In 1989, Troy was falsely convicted of the murder of off-duty police officer Mark MacPhail, even though no physical evidence tied him to the crime. Over the coming years, seven of the original nine witnesses who claimed Troy was guilty recanted, with several saying they were coerced by police into making false statements.

Troy's case became an emblem of the racism of the justice system, with people around the globe protesting his state-sponsored murder. As Troy wrote in a statement before his death, "Yet as I face this state-sanctioned terror, I realize one constant--my faith is unwavering, the love of my family and friends is massive, and the fight for justice and against injustice by activists worldwide has ignited a fire that is raging for human rights and human dignity."

Recognizing the tragic connection that exists between their two families, Kimberly Davis penned the following message of solidarity to the family of Mike Brown, on behalf of Troy Davis' surviving family members.

De'Jaun Correia, Troy Davis' nephew, holds up his hands in a sign of solidarityDe'Jaun Correia, Troy Davis' nephew, holds up his hands in a sign of solidarity

WE ARE writing to express our heartfelt condolences after the brutal killing of your loved one, Michael Brown. My family knows all too well the pain of losing a loved one at the hands of state violence. Our family extends our love and our support to you, and wish there was something more we could do to lessen the pain of your loss.

We are also writing to express our solidarity with all those in Ferguson who are standing for justice for Mike Brown, who are demanding accountability, and who are organizing against the racism and dehumanization that is at the root of Michael's killing, and so many other examples of state violence and racist violence against Black men and boys in our communities.

Our voices are added to yours, that there be no more families plunged into grief, as your family is mourning, and as my family grieves still, like the still-grieving families of Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, Jordan Davis, Trayvon Martin, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, and Kenneth Chamberlain Sr.

We must continue to stand up and speak out until there is justice for Mike Brown and so many others. We must continue to stand up and speak out until all young men and women in this country are seen for who they are–human beings deserving to be treated with respect, with dignity, and with equality.

In solidarity, and with sorrow,
Kimberly Davis, sister of Troy Anthony Davis (innocent death row prisoner executed by the state of Georgia on September 21, 2011), on behalf of the Davis family.

First published at View from the Donkey's Saddle.