May 26, 2020

Cardin Calls for Federal Civil Rights Investigation in Killing of George Floyd

“Whether a knee in the back, a chokehold or a rough ride, it is completely unacceptable that another African American, whose hands are cuffed behind their back by police, should fail to be heard when pleading for their lives."

BALTIMORE – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Special Representative on Anti-Semitism, Racism, and Intolerance for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Parliamentary Assembly, released the following statement on the death of George Floyd, who died while in police custody in Minneapolis.

“Whether a knee in the back, a chokehold or a rough ride, it is completely unacceptable that another African American, whose hands are cuffed behind their back by police, should fail to be heard when pleading for their lives. George Floyd’s unnecessary death at the hands of Minneapolis police is yet another reminder of the need to fundamentally reform the ways police across this nation interact with the communities they serve. I am appalled by Mr. Floyd’s death and call for swift justice in the case, which has begun – but not ended – with the immediate termination of the officers involved in the confrontation. The Justice Department should immediately launch a federal civil rights investigation into the death of Mr. Floyd.  We simply must do more to ensure that the basic human rights of Americans are protected at all times, even if they are suspected of a crime. I will continue working to advance legislation I have introduced in the U.S. Senate, the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act, to eliminate the use of racial and religious profiling by police.  We should take several other necessary measures contained in my Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act that can begin to change the tactics used and the tenor of interactions between law enforcement and American communities, especially those of color.  I also pray that we will have the courage as a nation to confront the widening racial disparities in our society and that we work to enact lasting change, so that no more families have to suffer such a senseless loss and young men do not have to fear the police because of the color of their skin.”     

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