FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 27th, 2020
CONTACT: Elianne Ramos, [email protected], 212.739.7513
Statement from LatinoJustice on murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police
New York, NY – The following is a statement from Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF on the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police:
We stand in righteous mourning and indignant rage as we process the news of the murder of yet another Black person at the hands of the police in the United States. George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, like Breona Taylor, a 26-year-old African-American woman, and Donnie Sanders, a 47-year-old Black man, was unarmed when confronted by police officers, who violently killed him in the street as bystanders watched and heard him scream out that he couldn’t breathe.
Anthony Baez could not breathe.
Eric Garner could not breathe.
George Floyd could not breathe.
Multiple police officers witnessed their murders and did nothing to stop the choking; did nothing to aid them.
When the Minneapolis community took to the streets to protest Floyd's horrific death, they were met with the now well-known tactics of police brutality and violent repression. The response of the police in attacking peaceful protestors expressing their collective grief at yet another incident of state-sponsored violence against the Black community stands in stark contrast to the response by police when confronting predominantly white “protestors” armed with high powered rifles challenging stay-at-home orders. As these heavily armed vigilantes who genuinely pose a threat to public safety and health were allowed to take over state capitol buildings and spar with law enforcement officials, they were met without a single canister of tear gas, nor police violence.
As members of the Latinx community who have suffered the devastating pain of having loved ones killed by police, including ICE and CBP, at the hands of brutal police violence that systematically targets and exterminates the lives of people of color, we unequivocally say, Black lives matter!
This must stop now. Then what we need to do is pass changes that:
- Support local policies requiring officers to intervene whenever they witness another officer using excessive force;
- Demand special prosecutors to investigate and bring criminal charges for police use of deadly force;
- Require de-escalation practices by law enforcement in every instance.
These and other steps may help avoid the next use of unwarranted, deadly force.
But until then, stop the killing of Black people! Let them breathe!
LatinoJustice PRLDEF works to create a more just society by using and challenging the rule of law to secure transformative, equitable and accessible justice, by empowering our community and by fostering leadership through advocacy and education. For more information about LatinoJustice, visit www.latinojustice.org