We are outraged by the killing of African American George Floyd by Minneapolis Police Officers
May 26, 2020
Minneapolis, MN — Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas (JCRC), issued the following statement:
“The Jewish community is outraged by the killing of George Floyd, a subdued and handcuffed African-American man, by Minneapolis police officers.
“We echo my friend and colleague Steven Belton, President and CEO of the Twin Cities Urban League, in his call for justice:
‘George Floyd didn’t deserve to die. Now he deserves justice. We demand justice for Mr. Floyd, for his family, for African Americans here and everywhere, and for all who cherish human life and the rule of law.’
“Our hearts break for Mr. Floyd’s family and friends. We are also devastated for our friends and neighbors in the African-American community, including Jews of color. Your pain is our pain.
“We are appreciative to Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo for directly requesting the FBI to investigate the apparent violation of Mr. Floyd’s civil rights, and expect that the FBI and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension will conduct a thorough and quick investigation.
“At a time when African-Americans and other people of color are disproportionately losing their lives to COVID-19, Mr. Floyd’s killing reminds us that for far too long African-Americans have also been much more likely to die at the hands of the police than white Americans.
“We also share the sentiments of Minneapolis Mayor and JCRC board member Jacob Frey, who speaking for all of us declared, ‘[t]his man should not have died. … I believe what I saw and what I saw is wrong on every level,’ as well as St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter who tweeted ‘[t]he officer who stood guard is just as responsible as his partner; both must be held fully accountable. This must stop now.’
“There is demonstrably so much more work to be done to dismantle the systemic racism embedded within American society as a whole and law enforcement more particularly. Today’s firing of the four Minneapolis police officers involved in the killing of Mr. Floyd is a necessary step, but we also know there are no quick and easy fixes to structural problems that have festered for generations.”
As the public affairs voice of the Jewish community, the JCRC fights antisemitism and prejudice, advocates for Israel, provides Holocaust education, promotes tolerance and social justice, and builds bridges across the Jewish and broader communities.