Contact: Mark Weber, 216-870-1594
The Board of Cleveland Peace Action condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the murder by Minneapolis police officers of George Floyd, unarmed and handcuffed, a Black man and city resident. This latest murder of an African American citizen calls to mind earlier cases of police killings of people of color: Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Sandra Bland, and Breanna Taylor to name a few. Beyond the usual expressions of concern by civic and political leaders, there is a desperate need for systemic change. Two concrete reforms should be mentioned.
- In this time of pandemic devastation, we need a transfer of investment from the military budget to a domestic peace budget which directs funds to shoring up our public health programs, our public schools, and public service jobs for those who have no work due to the virus. Jobs, health, and education should be our top priorities as a nation.
- We also need to review the role of the police in our communities…especially communities of color. Programs aimed at militarization of local police must be halted. Quasi-military police training programs, like the one given to some Minneapolis police officers by Israeli companies, must be ended. Police are supposed to the servants of the people and not an armed force sent to occupy them. The time for rhetoric and “thoughts and prayers” is past. Cleveland Peace Action demands action NOW.