The American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas grieves the tragic killing of the handcuffed and compliant George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police. We join the ACLU of Minnesota and the ACLU nationwide in calling for a fair, independent, and transparent investigation, and for long-term change of the policies that allowed this to occur.

The excruciating video of Mr. Floyd’s death reflects how brutally and how routinely police target Black people for low-level offenses and subject them to unreasonable levels of violence. There is no place for this in our society. George Floyd should be alive today. Breonna Taylor should be alive today. Tony McDade and so many more should be alive today. We stand with those exercising their right to free speech across the country in response to this tragedy, and pledge ourselves to protecting their right to protest.

The systemic targeting of people of color is woven into the fabric of our country’s law enforcement history. It stems from the legacies of slavery and Jim Crow. This police terror is one of many expressions of white supremacy in our society. At the ACLU of Kansas, we work with a steadfast commitment to dismantling these legacies, and to creating equitable opportunities and outcomes for all. In solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives, we intend to break this historic cycle of oppression.

Like many of you, we are feeling a mixture of emotions: anger, sadness, grief, fear, and sorrow. We also feel hope. Hundreds of thousands of people are showing up in the streets across the country to have public conversations about American racism, and about how to end it. As we work to build relentless, sustained pressure to ensure that current, temporary public outrage leads to permanent, systemic change, we do so to honor the memory of George Floyd and of those who suffered a similar fate at the hands of police and never found justice. 

Our work continues. We will not rest until “We the People” truly means all of us.