On May 25, George Floyd was killed by police in South Minneapolis. His death is an unspeakable tragedy—an injustice that cannot go unanswered. We believe that George Floyd is dead because of systemic racism and bias against people of color, carried out by a group of Minneapolis police officers. These officers used illegal and excessive force against Floyd, which caused his death. They felt able to do so because of a system that has long excused violence against communities of color and protected those who perpetrate it.
We are glad to learn that the officers involved in George Floyd’s death have been recently arrested, but that single action does not alter the system of oppression that led to this tragedy and it unfortunately does not ensure that justice will ultimately be served.
We grieve the senseless death of George Floyd. We lament with his friends, his family, and our Minnesota community. We are outraged. We are angry. We are heartbroken. But grief is not enough in the face of centuries of systemic injustice. Action is required. Change is required. Justice is required.
Mass incarceration of the black community, police brutality, unfair drug policies, and the over-policing of minority neighborhoods are all hallmarks of law enforcement and legal systems that oppress, abuse, and discriminate against people of color. These actions also impact victims/survivors of sexual and domestic violence, creating barriers to reporting and distrust between communities of color and the criminal justice system.
Many in our Minnesota community are fearful for their lives and their loved ones, now and in the future. We stand with them for change. We also call for reflection. This is a time to consider how we individually and collectively perpetuate racism. It can be hard to acknowledge how we benefit from a broken system that harms and discriminates against people of color, but we must do that ongoing internal work.
MNCASA is committed to challenging all forms of oppression in Minnesota. Anti-racist work is vital to ending sexual violence and improving the criminal justice response. We also have a responsibility to challenge institutionalized racism and speak out against injustice in our community. Together with movement leaders, community members, partners, and allies, we call for reform in both Minnesota law enforcement and legal systems. We call for justice for George Floyd and for all who have lost their lives to systemic racism and violence.