The systemic assault on the Black body has gone on for far too long—400 years and counting. We are outraged and heartbroken over the police murder of George Floyd, just as we were at the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland and so many more. Further, we are disheartened by the profound lack of leadership demonstrated by our elected leaders, especially their inability to propose and implement substantive reforms that promote real change. This lack of action combined with a lack of empathy, patience, and respect for protesters gathering to say Black Lives Matter is more than a series of missteps - it is a continued danger to New Yorkers for whom law enforcement’s responsibility to “protect and serve” is taken as a suggestion instead of a mandate.
As labor unions, we stand in solidarity with the hundreds of thousands of people across the country who have risen up to protest against state violence towards people of color, systemic racism, and police brutality. We cannot and will not stand down as we witness daily the violent response of the NYPD without reprimand nor consequence.