Libertarian National Committee Chair Nicholas Sarwark released the following statement on Friday, April 10. 2015:
“Mere words are insufficient to describe my outrage over the murder of Walter Scott by a man in a police uniform.
“A man was pulled over for an alleged traffic infraction and ended up dead on the ground, shot eight times in the back as he fled.
“Naturally, Officer Michael Slager felt safe from scrutiny, given the recent high-profile cases where courts have refused to prosecute police brutality.”
“But finally, the justice system is functioning as it should. Unlike the killing of Eric Garner – and countless more whose slayings were not captured on video – the officer who killed Mr. Scott has been charged with murder. He should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“But we must also address the root causes of this injustice.
“One is the over-criminalization of American society. When you make something a crime, you are authorizing enforcement at the point of a gun.
“We don’t need men with guns going after people whose taillight isn’t working or who want to avoid crushingly-high taxes on cigarettes. The focus of law enforcement should be on those who do violence to others – not peaceful citizens who are harming no one else.
“Nor do we need to enrich bloated government troughs. Many laws allow law enforcement departments to keep the proceeds of fines they impose, creating perverse incentives to seek violations. The primary goal of police officers should be to keep the peace, not incite conflict.
“Another root cause is the practice of profiling arising from our country’s failed Drug Prohibition. Americans are finally waking up to the routine harassment, assault, and even killings that law enforcement perpetrates on people of color every day.
“The Libertarian Party has been calling for an end to: profiling, victimless crime laws, high taxes, and the failed Drug Prohibition since the party was formed in 1971.
“If you think #BlackLivesMatter, if you believe we should stop criminalizing victimless crimes, if you believe that human beings should be free to live their lives however they like as long as they don’t hurt anyone else, please join the Libertarian Party.
“We need you to stand with us to make sure that there are no more Walter Scotts.”