As the foremost national coalition of organizations dedicated to civil rights and racial justice, we are both heartbroken and outraged at the brutal and senseless murder of George Floyd by officers of the Minneapolis Police Department. George Floyd becomes the latest in a long and growing line of members of our communities who have needlessly died at the hands of police acting outside of the bounds of the law and their sworn duty to uphold and protect the public. This epidemic of racialized violence must stop, and it must stop now. Bringing it to an end will require the affirmative commitment, solidarity and sustained action of all Americans, from grassroots advocacy to the ballot box.
Our collaborative calls for swift, full, and impartial justice for George Floyd and his family. We call for justice for the many other Black, American Indian, Alaska Native, Latino, Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander people of color who have suffered the same fate at the hands of law enforcement across this country. And we call for justice for the future victims from our communities, who no doubt will lose their lives unless all Americans come together to compel federal, state, and local governments to dismantle the deep-rooted power structures that allow these brutal acts of violence to occur, and then go unpunished. We call for:
- The immediate arrest of all of the officers involved in George Floyd’s murder;
- President Trump’s appointment of an independent special prosecutor to lead the federal government’s full and impartial investigation of the murder of George Floyd, specifically to determine whether violations of federal hate crimes statutes have occurred and to prosecute those violations accordingly to the full extent of the law;
- The systematic reinstitution by the Department of Justice of consent decrees on police departments and municipal governments across this country that have demonstrated patterns of racism towards and mistreatment of people of color;
- Congressional oversight hearings, at least annually, to review the status of the implementation of the Death in Custody Reporting Act to compel the collection, reporting and analysis of all deaths, by race and gender, that occur in law enforcement custody, including any while a person is detained or arrested;
- Federal, state, and local governments to issue states of emergency declaring racism a public health crisis, and to develop targeted policies to address this crisis; and
- All Americans to commit to working with us to dismantle systemic racism that have enabled this scourge of race-based violence to grow unabated.
As the Bishop Desmond Tutu once declared, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
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Advancement Project National Office, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, Demos, Faith in Action, NAACP, National Congress of American Indians, National Urban League, Race Forward, and UnidosUS are a collaborative of nine leading national racial equity anchor organizations (the Anchors) supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Together, we work to promote racial equity, advance racial healing, and ensure that all children, families, and communities have opportunities to reach their full potential.