1199SEIU Pres. Gresham Calls for Investigation, Accountability on Police Brutality; Repeal of 50-a Law

June 1, 2020

“As we continue to fight the global pandemic that is COVID-19, I want to take a moment to call attention to the scourge of police brutality that has targeted Black and Brown communities for generations. We all saw the footage of George Floyd’s murder. This weekend, we also saw police brutality in New York City, carried out against groups of protestors exercising their constitutional right to assemble. We all saw footage showing the use of batons, tear gas, closed fist punches, and cars barreling through groups of people as tools to quell the voices demanding an end to the violence against Black people at the hands of those sworn to protect and serve. While law enforcement was armed with the equipment needed to protect them from non-violent protestors, I couldn’t help but wonder where the same protection - both literal and figurative - is for our frontline healthcare workers – many of whom live in communities that have already suffered enough discrimination and trauma to last a lifetime.

"So today, my demands, and the demands of healthcare workers around the nation are clear: We need a repeal of New York’s 50-A law, that blocks access to police records. We need a thorough investigation into the violence being inflicted by NYPD on peaceful and lawful protesters, and we need for officers found to be using excessive and criminal force to face speedy prosecution.

“We are a nation founded by people who wanted the right to assemble and protest without retribution or retaliation. For once, let’s make sure we are operating from the same set of rules by holding officers who violate the rights of protestors accountable for their actions.”


1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. We represent over 450,000 nurses and caregivers throughout Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Florida. Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all. For more information: https://www.1199seiu.org/