(WASHINGTON) – The following is a statement from James P. Hoffa, Teamsters General President, and Marcus King, Director of the Teamsters Human Rights and Diversity Commission.
“This past week marked another tragic time in our nation’s history with the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Unfortunately, this is just the latest incident of an unwarranted police killing of an unarmed black man in the United States, and a harsh truth that we must accept – equal justice under the law is not a reality for all Americans. Black people fear for their lives on a daily basis by the very institutions which are supposed to protect them. It may not be most of our truths, but we must acknowledge and understand that this is the truth of so many black and brown brothers and sisters in this union and throughout our country.
“The Teamsters Union has long supported the civil rights movement and the fight to ensure the fair treatment of all our people regardless of race, color, gender or sexual orientation. We reject social injustices such as racism, which have eroded and divided us as a country for far too long. Denying that racism still exists and continues to operate in ways which destroys lives and communities threatens our very freedom.
“The Teamsters Union unites 1.4 million working people of all races and nationalities across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, including more than 30,000 law enforcement members who also condemn this act and ask that we understand that it is not representative of the entire law enforcement community. They also acknowledge that while there has been some progress made within police departments across the nation to engage in constructive dialogue to improve relations among police officers and people of color, there is still a long road ahead. And we all have a role to play in getting there as we cannot afford to lose any more innocent lives.
“Therefore, this is not a time when we sit in judgment and ridicule of each other, but when we unite in a show of solidarity and compassion to ensure that all people are treated fairly with dignity and respect.
“On behalf of this great union, we send our condolences to the family of Brother George Floyd, and may justice prevail.”