The Indianapolis Jewish Community Relations Council is shocked and saddened by the horrific tragedies that have taken place in recent days in cities across the United States.  We see a troubling erosion of trust between the American people and law enforcement — a trust that seems to be under attack from all sides.

The police killings of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota once again remind us of how the deep wounds of racism and bias in our society continue to fester with devastating consequences. These systemic inequities can no longer be ignored.

Today, as always, the Jewish community stands in solidarity with our friends in the African- American community. Our hearts break with your hearts. We join with you in calling for more accountability and the need to address the systemic biases that exist against people of color in our criminal justice system and in our society.

We also condemn the ambush on the Dallas Police Department that left five police officers dead and six injured. This despicable act unequivocally contributes to the erosion of trust. We are grateful to law enforcement officials who put their lives on the line in order to ensure our communities are safe. We know that every day, hundreds of your good deeds and courageous acts go unnoticed, and we say thank you.

It is clear that we have reached a defining moment in our country’s history. Racial and ethnic divisions tear at the fabric of who we are as a nation. Respect and empathy are declining, while fear and hatred are on the rise. Distrust and despair should not be our common bond. Rather, each of us must be willing to do the hard work necessary to mend divisions by coming together to build relationships based on mutual understanding. We must learn to trust each other so that we can say with a common voice, enough is enough and not one more.

As our nation becomes increasingly diverse, the Jewish community will make every effort to ensure that political reform and social change result in equal treatment under the law for all.  We are ready to stand alongside those willing to turn despair into hope, fear into understanding, and prejudice into respect.