Washington, DC – Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Chair of the House Armed Services Personnel Committee, issued the following statement in response to a report released by Protect Our Defenders that found the U.S. Air Force worked to coverup serious racial disparities in military justice cases dating back to 2016, and that Black servicemembers are substantially more likely than White servicemembers to face the military justice system or disciplinary action across all branches of the military.

“It’s extremely troubling to see that the Air Force is wasting valuable resources that could have been used to address staggering racial disparities in military justice on keeping the public and the press in the dark. Imagine the progress that could have been made if that same effort were devoted to actually solving the problem. This was an opportunity to lead and to build a better Air Force by identifying and committing to changes to confront racial bias—conscious or unconscious. I intend to hold a hearing at the earliest opportunity. We cannot stand idly by as our servicemembers in all branches are subjected to injustice and discrimination that should be a footnote in our history, not a modern day scandal,” Chair Speier said.

“Though they were not in the military, the recent killings of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd further underscore the need for Congress to take action to address the racism that pervades our society and justice systems. We must speak out as one body united against all forms of hatred and injustice,” Chair Speier added.

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