Rep. Payne, Jr.’s Statement on the Murder of George Floyd and the Anti-Racism Protests

June 2, 2020
Press Release

Media Contact:  Patrick Wright   --  Patrick.Wright@mail.house.gov

Washington, D.C. — Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. issued the flowing statement today regarding the death of George Floyd and anti-racism protests across the country.

“I, Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr., want to extend my sincere condolences to the family of Mr. George Floyd, who was brutally murdered by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin on May 28th.  Thankfully, Chauvin has been fired and arrested for his actions.  But I call upon the Minneapolis authorities to file charges against the other three police officers who participated in the incident.  They need to be held accountable for their role in this tragic death.   

In addition, I want to extend my full support to all Americans who have taken to the streets to protest systemic racism in cities across the country.  Mr. Floyd’s death is just one of far too many recent and historic police actions nationwide that have killed unarmed African Americans.  These repeated incidents erode our faith and trust in democracy. As a nation, we were founded on the belief that all men and women were created equal regardless of race and that all of us have a universal right to life and liberty.  These protestors are practicing their Constitutional right to peaceful assembly and all elected officials as well as public servants should respect and honor that.

But the key word is peaceful.  I understand how the frustration and anger of a peaceful protest can turn violent.  There are times when such actions are necessary, such as the time a band of American patriots protested taxation with their actions during the Boston Tea Party.  However, violence is never the answer.  It only allows aggressors to justify the excessive force that has come to characterize the arrest and detention of blacks in America. 

I plan to work with my colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus and the halls of Congress to create bills to stop this epidemic of unnecessary violence against our communities of color immediately.  Enough is enough.”          

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