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An Open Letter from IFPTE...Black Lives Matter

This past Monday in Minneapolis, George Floyd, a Black man, was murdered by an officer of the Minneapolis Police Department, his hands cuffed behind his back, pushed to the pavement and jammed against the rear wheel of a Minneapolis Police SUV. Three additional police officers stood by with total disregard and indifference while a white officer kneeled on Mr. Floyd's neck for more than 8 minutes until he died. Before his death, Mr. Floyd pleaded "I can't breathe" - the same phrase uttered by another Black man, Eric Garner, choked to death by police in New York City in 2014.

Our sadness is eclipsed only by our outrage that once again a Black man has fallen victim to the homicidal actions of a police officer. Mr. Floyd's tragic death serves as another reminder of the brutality, racial profiling, and systematic oppression inflicted upon Black men and women, and upon people of color in the United States every day. George Floyd's name is added to the ever-growing list of names like Breonna Taylor, a Black woman shot and killed in her home by police in March in Louisville; Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man shot and killed by three white civilians in February while out for a jog; and so many other Black men and women. Systematic racism, violence, and oppression are the normal state for people of color in America and the death of Mr. Floyd serves yet another reminder of this state of injustice.

IFPTE condemns these actions and calls for complete and swift justice for Mr. Floyd and his family. IFPTE further calls for continued transparency of these injustices and condemns all attempts to minimize the enormity of this tragedy, suppress resistance, and further divide this nation. It is incumbent upon the labor movement to stand on the side of justice, to unite against racism, and to stand against hatred, white supremacy and its systematic oppression and criminalization of people of color. We in labor remind all our sisters and brothers in this country that Black Lives Matter. We call upon the FBI and Department of Justice to meaningfully investigate and prosecute racial injustice expressed through all manners of life, be it housing, healthcare, education, incarceration and the like. We further call upon the United States Senate along with the House of Representatives to immediately conduct hearings on the systemic racism that exists in our country in order to pass legislation to protect our communities of color and dismantle the system of oppression that continues to be normal in America today.

Paul Shearon
IFPTE President

Matthew Biggs
IFPTE Secretary-Treasurer


APALA Statement on George Floyd

IFPTE's Black Lives Matter - An Open Letter

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