His name was George Floyd.

What we see in demonstrations demanding justice for his murder at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers has reverberated across the commonwealth and across the nation. This is nothing new. Black Americans demanding the promise of justice that has always seemed elusive, white supremacists and other disruptors attempting to co-opt or discredit peaceful protests, police using disproportionate force and outright violence to disperse the demonstrations — we have seen this horrific cycle play out time and again, in some form, for hundreds of years.

The violent tactics used by police in the past week to quell demonstrations calling for justice for George Floyd continue out of that same playbook. We see police firing rubber bullets and tear gas unprovoked, driving through crowds, pushing to the ground and kicking vulnerable protesters, directly targeting reporters attempting to cover the demonstrations, and still using illegal restraint techniques like that which killed George Floyd.

The ACLU of Pennsylvania strongly condemns the ongoing police brutality and violence at these demonstrations and calls for all officers involved in such violence to be held to account. 

We also reiterate our whole-hearted support for Black Lives Matter and the goals towards which Black Lives Matter works: dignity, safety, liberty, and liberation for Black and brown lives.

Finally, the ACLU of Pennsylvania will continue to work with local community groups and bail funds to support demonstrations across the commonwealth and to help stem police violence. If you need help, please reach our online legal intake form here.  

His name was George Floyd. His life mattered. He deserves justice, just like all of the Black people killed at the hands of the state before him and, sadly, all of those to follow.