We witnessed in horror as George Floyd was murdered at the hands of the Minneapolis Police.
He cried, “I can’t breathe” as an officer kneeled on his neck until he took his last breath. These same words, this same plea, was uttered eleven times by our brother Eric Garner as he too was murdered by the NYPD.
Justice cannot be delayed and cannot be denied there, as it continues to be denied here in NY. It has been six years – six long years – and Eric’s mother is still fighting to know the names of all of the officers involved in his death, only one of the offices involved has been fired.
These are not isolated incidents. Police across the country repeat the same brutality without consequences, and with grave results. We send solidarity and strength to our comrades in Minneapolis, and across the country, in our shared fight for justice.
Over the last several weeks, we have witnessed violence at the hands of police against Black and Brown communities all over the country. This week in Tallahassee, Tony McDade, a Black trans man, was killed by police. A few weeks ago in Kentucky, Breonna Taylor was shot dead in her home while she was sleeping.
In New York, as in Minneapolis and Kentucky, when we resist and protest this injustice we are met with further violence by the state.
Justice, and a safe future for our communities, does not only come from firing, arresting or prosecuting individual officers. Our city, and cities across the country, must defund the police and redirect those resources to what communities of color need.
Black people are not disposable. We are not less worthy or valuable, and we deserve to be able to sleep in our homes, go to the grocery store, pull out a wallet, and walk in our communities without the fear of getting killed by police.
We remember and honor George Floyd and we remember and honor Eric Garner.