Statement on Boston Marathon tragedy by Anthony Romero, national ACLU executive director

Our hearts continue to go out to the people of Massachusetts and to friends and families of those affected by this horrific act of violence, including first responders and law enforcement who have been injured or lost their lives as a result of this attack.

As with any incident of this kind, initial reports can be inaccurate, leading to wrongful characterizations and stereotypes of certain groups. We urge the media, public and lawmakers to avoid jumping to conclusions about any suspects until all facts and evidence are gathered and thoroughly analyzed.

As we continue to receive information in the coming days and weeks, it is important to remember that Marathon runners and supporters, as well as first responders, people who provided key evidence to the authorities and those injured or killed because of these senseless acts, were of different nationalities, ethnic and racial backgrounds, ideologies and religions.

Our nation needs to stay the course and judge people by their actions and their character, rather than the color of their skin or their religion or beliefs. This is what makes America great.