Green Party of Connecticut
May 30, 2020 - For Immediate Release

Peter Goselin, Co-Chair, Green Party of Connecticut, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The video-recorded killing of George Floyd by one Minneapolis police officer while other officers participated or stood by and said nothing, and while frightened members of the public tried desperately to intervene on his behalf represents a terrifying new low in the United States. While white millionaires who have engaged in multi-million dollar fraud may spend a little time in country club prisons where their bunkmates are politicians and other well-heeled “white collar” criminals, an African American man was publicly executed without trial, based on the mere allegation that he passed a fake twenty dollar bill.

Many people will think of 2020 as the year of the coronavirus pandemic, but there is another horrific calendar for Black/African Americans and other people of color, on which the execution of George Floyd is just the most recent date marked in blood:

January 15. Mubarak Soulemane, 19, shot and killed by a state trooper in West Haven, Connecticut, after a high speed car chase and after Soulemane had already been tased.

February 23. Ahmaud Arbery, 25, killed by armed white supremacists while he jogged in his Brunswick, Georgia neighborhood. The men who murdered him were shielded from arrest for 74 days because one had previously worked as an investigator in the local state prosecutor’s office.

March 13. Breonna Taylor, 26, shot and killed in her bed by Louisville, Kentucky police when they forced their way into her house on a “no knock” warrant at a wrong address. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, was arrested and charged with attempted murder of a police officer for defending his partner during the break-in.

May 6. Sean Reed, 21, shot and killed after being tased, while running away on foot from Indianapolis, Indiana, police. Police claimed they began chasing Reed in his car because they observed him “driving recklessly.”

May 25. George Floyd, 46, choked to death by Minneapolis, Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin, who kept his boot on Floyd’s neck while he lay handcuffed on the ground, as Floyd pleaded “I can’t breathe.” Chauvin and three other police officers on the scene ignored pleas by members of the public.

These events stand in stark contrast to the May 27 capture of Peter Manfredonia, 21, a white Connecticut resident – referred to in newspaper headlines as a “UConn Senior” – accused of killing two people and kidnapping a third. Described by police as “armed and dangerous” he was nonetheless taken into custody after a multi-state manhunt, without a shot being fired.

The Green Party of Connecticut condemns in the strongest possible terms the pandemic of police violence against Black/African Americans and people of color in the continental United States and its colonies. We extend our sincerest condolences to the families of the victims, and express support for the communities affected and solidarity with the activists who are challenging police violence as an aspect of institutionalized racism. But we know that moral outrage is not enough to treat much less cure this plague. The time is now to act swiftly and decisively, in order to be on the right side of history in the generations to come.

We as the Connecticut Green Party also reject the idea that merely adopting new technology such as body cameras or making departmental policy changes is enough to reform policing in our communities. Real change will not come without re-envisioning what it means to protect and serve every member community, regardless of color, creed, national origin, gender identity or background. We are one Connecticut.

We therefore call on the people, organizations, and communities of Connecticut to join with us in creating an agenda for lasting change in our State: a comprehensive set of local and legislative goals intended to effect civilian oversight, a re-evaluation of officer training modules, including more effective, culturally-informed de- escalation techniques and screening of officer background for white supremacists leanings; restorative justice practices mediated by trained clinicians, community leaders, extended family members and case managers; demilitarization of the police force; legalization, decriminalization and regulation of cannabis; and community control of law enforcement, respectively.

Mubarak Soulemane, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, George Floyd.

For the sake of their lives and our own, the time is now.

No justice, no peace.