All of us at Free Speech For People are heartbroken and outraged by the recent police murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. We send our deepest condolences to their families.

We stand together with all Americans who are denouncing the police brutality that led to their deaths, and the racism that causes far too many cases like theirs—and like those of Ahmaud Arbery, who was killed for jogging while black, and Christian Cooper, who was targeted for police harassment by a white woman who was annoyed at being asked to leash her dog.

We stand together with all Americans who are protesting in the streets against the policies, practices, and people that perpetuate racism and violence.

We stand together with all Americans who are outraged by over-militarized police (and in some cases military) responses to these protests

We stand together with the journalists who are trying to bring the news of these protests to the public around the world.

We stand together with all Americans who are calling for an end to institutional racism in our government, including in our police departments.

And we denounce in the strongest possible terms the rising militarism and fascism of Donald Trump and his administration that is enflaming an incendiary situation and promoting more police brutality across the land.

It is no secret that, while most police officers strive to serve and protect their fellow citizens, there are also those in law enforcement who do not belong there and who abuse their power to cause harm to Black people and other people of color. These elements of law enforcement have been emboldened by the rhetoric of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and by his current administration. They heard Trump’s rhetoric about immigrants, about protesters, about countless other groups. They witnessed his incitement of violence at his campaign rallies against those who dared to stand up to challenge his racist and hateful statements. They heard when he encouraged police to be “rough” with “thugs” that they arrest, specifically advocating that police not take care to avoid causing head injuries to arrested people. They heard when he told the nation to “study” an urban legend about General Pershing committing war crimes against Muslim prisoners of war, not as a cautionary tale but as a model for the future. They heard when he said that racist and abusive former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, convicted of criminal contempt of court for willfully disobeying a court order to stop illegal detentions, was “convicted for doing his job.” And they hear now when he repeats the segregationist threat that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

Soon after the election in November 2016, we issued a statement calling upon then President-elect Trump and all public officials “to completely and totally repudiate all elements of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, gender expression, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, or any other protected group status, and all forms of authoritarian governance that threaten the constitutional rights of all Americans.” We renewed that call in August 2017 after Trump failed to condemn the neo-Nazi terror attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, and again in June 2018 after Trump began his policy of breaking up families and imprisoning migrant children in mass orphanages indefinitely while their parents are left unaware of their whereabouts.

It has long been clear that Donald Trump—the man who ordered a peaceful protest to be cleared with tear gas so that he could pose for a photo in front of a church—has no respect for the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, or the right to freedom of speech. To Trump, nothing in America or the Constitution matters unless it serves his own ends. After he deliberately sabotaged public health by preventing the United States from taking decisive action against the COVID-19 pandemic for the sole purpose of trying to help his own political prospects, over 100,000 Americans have died in just three months. Now, the fire and fury of Trump’s “American carnage” is being unleashed upon our cities.

We stand in solidarity with those who mourn, and with all those committed to the movement to demand justice, equality, and democracy for all.

Photo by a katz /