statement on George Floyd

Statement from GOSO President and CEO Dr. Jocelynne Rainey on George Floyd

Enough is enough. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, and far too many others are gone who should still be here today. The brutal death of George Floyd, captured on camera, as Officer Derek Chauvin held a knee to his throat with no intervention from fellow officers, is shocking—but the image is all too familiar to those who have been victimized for decades and witnessed this type of treatment.

At GOSO every day we see the damage caused to the young people we serve by racism and a justice system that disproportionately questions, punishes and incarcerates young black men. This lasting trauma is not just suffered by people who have too often been targeted because of the color of their skin, but suffered by their families and communities as well.

In this country it is our right to be presumed innocent. Walking, jogging or bird watching should not be cause for police intervention. A police inquiry should not be an invitation to brutalize. An arrest should not be a death sentence.

In this moment, regardless of our race, status or gender, we must speak up and make our outrage known, using our voices and resources to repair this broken system and build more humane and equitable forms of justice.