Miami Workers Center Demands Justice and Healing for Black Lives

Miami Workers Center Demands Justice and Healing for Black Lives  - Santra Denis

Santra Denis, Interim Executive Director Miami Workers Center

MIAMI – The Miami Workers Center is outraged at the tragic killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN on May 25, 2020. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to Mr. Floyd’s family and the entire Black Community who continue to be impacted by traumatic events such as this— yet another unarmed Black person killed by white police.

The murder of Ahmaud Aubrey, shot to death by white vigilantes including a former police officer while jogging in Georgia and the recent deaths of Tony McDade, Sean Reed, Nina Pop, and Breonna Taylor have left Black Communities, already bearing the disproportionate impacts of COVID-19, reeling.

These  acts serve as painful reminders that Black lives are not valued in America, and that our very existence is a threat.

Racism and police brutality are not new to us in Miami. Over forty years ago in Miami, white police officers beat a 33-year-old insurance agent Arthur McDuffie into a coma after he ran a red light. McDuffie later died. The acquittal of four Dade County Public Safety Department officers caused civil unrest in Miami Dade County known as the McDuffie Riots of 1980.

In 2016, The Justice Department found the Miami Police Department to have a pattern or practice of excessive use of force. Even as recent as earlier this year, black students were met with extremely aggressive policing from officers in Miami Beach.  The result is almost always without a loss of pay, a loss of job, or any conviction.

Nearly half a century later, racism and police brutality persists but now digital technologies are increasingly exposing the sheer volume of violence, perpetrated by police and white vigilantes, that the Black community has endured for generations.

Black people repeatedly experience and witness racism, bearing the brunt of racist acts from both individuals and institutions often acting with impunity.  Black Communities are collectively experiencing trauma, deep sadness and anger as we grieve the impact of the shadow pandemics of racism and police brutality.

In Miami-Dade County and throughout the country, we demand:
  • Removal of officers with reports of racism and bias
  • Civilian Oversight Board
  • Transparency & Accountability for Police Misconduct
  • Independent investigation of police misconduct
  • Investment into community-based alternative policing systems

As we continue to demand change, as we demand justice, and as we take to the street to rise up and protest against injustice, we recognize that there is also a need for a space that is created for and by Black people, to safely and freely express their feelings of grief and frustration but to also be in solidarity with each other and feel seen and heard.

We welcome you to join us for a healing edition of #FemmeFriday on Friday, June 5th from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. 

Our hearts are with Mr. Floyd’s family and the people of Minneapolis, we are in solidarity with the families of all those we have lost to police brutality and Black people across the United States.

 

 

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