All of us at PSR-LA share in the mourning, pain, and outrage being expressed over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers. The list of lives lost at the hands of law enforcement or racist civilians is too long to name; we honor all of them by uplifting the names of a few killed only since February: George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. And we uplift fellow Angelenos Wakiesha Wilson, Redel Jones, Ezell Ford, Ryan Twyman, and Grechario Mack—just a few of the hundreds of people murdered by LAPD or LA County Sheriff’s Department in recent years. We strongly condemn the ongoing racist killing of black people, especially at the hands of police.
The murder of George Floyd is a flashpoint that has triggered an outpouring of grief and anger at a system built on racism and state-sanctioned violence against black people. This anger has only been compounded by the inordinate rates of contraction and death in the face of the current global pandemic as well as the disproportionate impacts borne by the black community in the midst of the ensuing economic recession—both of which are also consequences of legacies of persecution and exploitation.
As an environmental health and justice organization, PSR-LA is fully committed to dismantling the systemic racism that perpetuates health and economic disparity in black communities. We cannot eliminate health threats from environmental racism if we do not first address the systemic racism that perpetuates it. We ask you to join us in the movement to demand justice and fight for an end to structural racism and oppression.
The Movement for Black Lives has issued a Vision for Black Lives: Policy Demands for Black Power, Freedom and Justice: 1) end the war on black people 2) reparations 3) invest-divest 4) economic justice 5) community control, and 6) political power. Additionally, their 2020 rapid response platform demands that the rights of protesters be respected and calls for immediate COVID-19 relief for black communities. PSR-LA supports these goals and encourages you to learn more by watching their webinar, In Defense of Black Lives: National Week of Action Call.
PSR-LA also supports Black Lives Matter LA and other groups in the call for a People’s Budget that funds services and not the police. We are especially calling on all health professionals to support the People’s Budget over the current budget proposal that allocates 54% of general funds to the LAPD. We need a health-centered, caring economy that can repair the harms done by systemic racism and white supremacy.
Continue to follow PSR-LA for more information and you can also take action now to make sure the LA City budget reflects the values of the people of Los Angeles.
Please stand with us in support of the movement to defend black life.