SAALT Demands Justice for George Floyd, Calls for Murder Charges

On Mon­day, May 25th, four police offi­cers, includ­ing Offi­cer Derek Chau­vin and Offi­cer Tou Thao, mur­dered 46-year old George Floyd, in his home city of Min­neapo­lis, Min­neso­ta. George Floyd is the most recent vic­tim of state-sanc­tioned police bru­tal­i­ty aimed at Black peo­ple, mark­ing the 1,014th mur­der by U.S. police in the past year

Despite being in the midst of a pan­dem­ic that has left near­ly 100,000 peo­ple dead, the vio­lence tar­get­ing Black com­mu­ni­ties has con­tin­ued unabat­ed. Just three months ago, Bre­on­na Tay­lor, a Black woman, was killed by police offi­cers in her home in Louisville after they sur­veiled and assault­ed her. And, just weeks ago, the nation woke up to bystander doc­u­men­ta­tion of Ahmaud Arbery’s Feb­ru­ary mur­der at the hands of a white for­mer police offi­cer in Geor­gia. The inher­ent racism of the polic­ing sys­tem con­tin­ues to be exploit­ed by indi­vid­u­als to tar­get peo­ple of col­or, as doc­u­ment­ed this past Mon­day, when a white woman threat­ened a Black man in Cen­tral Park by say­ing she would call the police “and tell them there’s an African-Amer­i­can man threat­en­ing [her] life” when he calm­ly asked her to leash her dog accord­ing to the park’s rules.

“As South Asians and Asian Amer­i­cans, we must acknowl­edge, con­front, and dis­man­tle anti-Black­ness in our own com­mu­ni­ties,” said SAALT’s Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, Lak­sh­mi Sri­daran. “Our com­mu­ni­ties often rely on the racist crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem to address hate vio­lence aimed at our own com­mu­ni­ties while the root cause of this vio­lence is the gov­ern­ment and its poli­cies. And, like the afore­men­tioned Asian Amer­i­can Min­neapo­lis Offi­cer Tou Thao, we also have the pow­er to enact anti-Black­ness by trust­ing and rein­forc­ing the vio­lence of the crim­i­nal jus­tice sys­tem. Dur­ing this time of cri­sis, as we see a rise in anti-Asian vio­lence in response to COVID-19, we must inter­ro­gate our reliance and belief in polic­ing and police, and con­front the anti-Black­ness that plagues our com­mu­ni­ties. SAALT is rein­vig­o­rat­ing its com­mit­ment to com­bat­ing anti-Black­ness with­in and across our com­mu­ni­ties by work­ing with exist­ing and new allies in Black and Brown com­mu­ni­ties.”

It is dur­ing times of cri­sis that racist sys­tems of polic­ing, enforce­ment, mon­i­tor­ing, and sur­veil­lance are for­ti­fied. Yet, there is hope for recourse and jus­tice and a world where police offi­cers are held account­able for mur­der. We’re urg­ing com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers to sign this Col­or of Change peti­tion, demand­ing that the four police offi­cers who killed George Floyd be charged with mur­der and to join Com­mu­ni­ty Resource Hub’s COVID-19 Polic­ing Track­er, to help track COVID-19 relat­ed sur­veil­lance.