NYC/Long Island

“There has been a travesty of justice for Michael Brown, his family and the Ferguson community. Once again, an unarmed person of color has been killed without any consequences, like so many countless others. The healthcare workers of 1199SEIU share the deep anguish of the Brown family, because our own members have experienced similar tragedies. The mothers of Sean Bell and Ramarley Graham, both unarmed black men killed by the police, are 1199SEIU members. We cannot heal as a nation until black and brown lives have the same value as all other lives in the eyes of law enforcement and the justice system. It is also a moral imperative that we address the underlying causes of the despair and anger in Ferguson and in communities of color throughout our country. The lack of good jobs, unequal enforcement of the law, disparity in educational opportunities and restriction of voting rights have pushed many to the brink. We take up the call of Michael Brown’s parents to channel our ‘frustration in ways that will make a positive change.’ We call on the Department of Justice to prioritize the federal investigation into Michael Brown’s killing. We call on local, state and federal government to make systemic changes and put in place policies that will safeguard the lives of our youth. We call on police departments to respect the first amendment and freedom to protest. And we vow to organize with our allies for powerful, sustained action until all communities across our nation have justice, safety, rights and respect.”

-George Gresham, President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest healthcare union in the nation.

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