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The Carter Center: Rayshard Brooks' death emphasizes that the country must come to grips with systemic racism

'America must come to grips with its long history of systemic racism and ensure full respect for and protection of the human rights of all.'

ATLANTA — The Carter Center is joining voices around the nation speaking out against racism and injustice in the United States.

The organization, which iwa founded by forrmer President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, released a statement Tuesday saying Rayshard Brooks' death emphasizes, once again, the country's history of systemic racism. 

RELATED: Daughter of Rayshard Brooks found out her father was killed while celebrating birthday

Brooks was killed Friday night at the hands of an Atlanta police officer who responded to a Wendy's off of University Avenue. Brooks was asleep in his car when officers arrived. Almost a half-hour after the officers began a DUI investigation, a violent struggle began, ending with Brooks being shot by Officer Garrett Rolfe as he was running away with a police taser, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. 

The statement from The Carter Center also mentioned the killing of Ahmaud Arbery.

"In our own city and state, recent killings and the failure of the state to prosecute perpetrators of anti-Black violence have shocked the nation and caused special grief to Georgians already reeling from the killing of Ahmaud Arbery and the painful recognition that racially motivated attacks are commonplace in the U.S." the statement reads. 

RELATED: Ahmaud Arbery's mom says suspects' hearing gave her a 'sense of closure' of last minutes of her son's life

Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, was shot and killed while he was out for a jog in February after he was followed by father and son Gregory and Travis McMichael, who are white. The encounter was captured on video and sparked outrage across the country when it went viral, months after the fatal shooting. The GBI was later called in to investigate, which lead to arrests in the case. 

"While Black Americans have lived this reality for hundreds of years, many other Americans are only just confronting this painful violence due to video evidence that brutally lays bare the injustices that have long been present," the statement says, in part.

Both cases, the Carter Center's said, highlights the fact that "true equality has not been achieved in our country."

Read the organization's full statement below: 

"As it does around the world, The Carter Center stands with those in our own community whose human rights and democratic rights are violated. The death of yet another African American man, Rayshard Brooks, at the hands of police in Atlanta last week once again emphasizes that America must come to grips with its long history of systemic racism and ensure full respect for and protection of the human rights of all, as established in our Bill of Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Throughout our nation’s history, excessive use of force against African Americans by police and others has continued with impunity. In our own city and state, recent killings and the failure of the state to prosecute perpetrators of anti-Black violence have shocked the nation and caused special grief to Georgians already reeling from the killing of Ahmaud Arbery and the painful recognition that racially motivated attacks are commonplace in the U.S. While Black Americans have lived this reality for hundreds of years, many other Americans are only just confronting this painful violence due to video evidence that brutally lays bare the injustices that have long been present.

The Carter Center believes we have obligation to examine and address how issues of inequity have formed the foundation of our nation’s institutions. From this understanding, we must all actively participate in weaving a new social contract based on equality for all. Now is the time for deep and sometimes painful, but necessary reflection - followed by concerted action.

As an international organization based in the United States, we lament that true equality has not been achieved in our country. As we work in solidarity with local and national partners, we will continue to seek their wisdom to ensure that all of our programs reflect an understanding of history. The Carter Center is committed to advancing the goal of building thriving democracies, both internationally and in the United States, that fully respect and protect human rights for all.”

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