Statement by the Journalists and Writers Foundation
Tragic Death of George Floyd in Minneapolis
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.
The Journalists and Writers Foundation is concerned and saddened by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis. The wrongful death of George Floyd follows a long string of misconduct towards persons of color, particularly African Americans, by some law enforcement officers across the country.
The Journalists and Writers Foundation strongly condemns the use of excessive, unwarranted, and unnecessary deadly force against George Floyd and other African Americans. These actions are contrary to the values of decency and safety not only of African Americans, but indeed for all peoples living in the United States. The United States of America was founded on the basis of fundamental constitutional principles, including just government and the rule of law, where all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, endowed with certain unalienable rights, among which the right to life.
The Journalists and Writers Foundation calls on the authorities to take all legal, administrative and other measures necessary to immediately put an end to injustice and prevent in the future killings of law-abiding citizens at the hands of law enforcement officers. We further call on the authorities to remove regulations and practices that could result in impunity for such appalling crimes. The tragic death of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that ensued demonstrated that we all have a long way to effectively tackle the underlying problem of racial discrimination and social inequality, which should be properly examined and addressed as a matter of priority.
Finally, the Journalists and Writers Foundation believes that access to information, right to peacefully protest and assembly are critical to a functioning democracy and stands at the core of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Local and state officials must ensure safety and security of journalists and media workers who risk their lives covering the protests in the streets. The journalists must be exempt from curfew regulations in order to report freely. It is also important to stress that violent protests and destruction of public and private property alike will not solve the underlying issues and we therefore urge the protestors to exercise their rights peacefully. Together, we can build a peaceful and inclusive society through dialogue, understanding, and respect for human rights, social justice, and human dignity.
Journalists and Writers Foundation
New York – June 4, 2020