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5 Ways To Demand Justice For George Floyd And All Those Suffocated By Racism

Color Of Change and BET.com partner to support #TheBlackResponse during the Coronavirus pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting every aspect of our society and exposing deep, systemic inequalities that are killing Black people. As the news changes minute-to-minute, BET and Color Of Change are teaming up to make sure Black people have the clear and focused information we need to get help, take action and support the hardest hit in our communities. 

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There is one plea for life that ties both police violence and COVID-19 together: “I can’t breathe.” Eric Garner said it 11 times before police killed him. George Floyd said it for seven minutes before police killed him. Black Americans are saying it more than any other demographic as COVID-19 attacks our lungs at disproportionate rates.

As police claim George Floyd died from preexisting conditions, it’s clear the state’s response to this cry is also, often the same problematic dismissal. In the early reports of Eric Garner’s death in 2014, police made the argument that he died from pre-existing conditions and not from the illegal chokehold police officers put him in. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, similarly blamed Black people for having pre-existing conditions and dying from COVID-19 at higher rates than others, ignoring the chokeholds of presidential inaction, environmental racism, and inequities in the healthcare system. In fact, the preconditions of systemic racism are suffocating us, in many different ways. 

RELATED: 5 Ways You Can Fight For The Lives Of Those Incarcerated During The Coronavirus Pandemic

This moment reminds us that fighting for air is nothing new for Black people. So, this week in #TheBlackResponse to COVID, we’re taking action to demand justice for George Floyd and all the countless other men, women and children killed by systemic racism in our country.

  1. Demand All The Officers Who Killed George Floyd Are Charged For Murder

    George Floyd was a Black man, who was murdered in broad daylight after a grocery clerk called the police thinking he had paid for a pack of cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. For seven minutes, George laid on the street while former officer Derek Chauvin held his knee on George’s neck as the other three officers either held him down or watched without response. Join 3 million people in signing the petition to demand justice for George Floyd.

  2. Make A Plan To Hold Elected Officials Accountable

    Prosecutors are the most powerful people in the criminal justice system. To proactively protect our communities, we need to start holding these elected officials accountable before another tragedy occurs. Color Of Change just launched the first prosecutor directory. Look up your local prosecutor and make sure your community has a district attorney who is committed to protecting Black people.

  3. Text DEMANDS to 55156

    As Black people all across the country grapple with the aftermath of an unprecedented global pandemic, somehow Black people also have to figure out how to stay alive while jogging, buying groceries, and yes — even while sleeping. We’re organizing a list of demands to deter public and private officials from supporting, investing, and protecting an unaccountable police force. Text DEMANDS to 55156 to learn more and get involved.

  4. Donate money to the local groups fighting for #JusticeForAhmaud

    The fight for justice for Ahmaud Arbery continues in Georgia where protests have erupted in the last few days. The Georgia NAACP has been working with Ahmaud’s family to demand justice. You can donate to the NAACP to ensure these local organizers have the funds needed to continue their advocacy for the 18 or more months that it will take for this case against the Greg and Travis McMichaels to conclude.  

  5. Sign the petition to stop the NYPD's selective enforcement of social distancing rules

    We still need to focus on flattening the curve of COVID-19. As we have seen, police violence and mass incarceration are closely tied, so we’re demanding the NYPD stop arresting Black people for existing in public (with or without a mask) during the pandemic. Sign the petition demanding NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio to immediately release all data for arrests and summons across New York City and end NYPD racist enforcement of social distancing orders. 

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    BET has been covering every angle of George Floyd’s death in police custody, other social justice cases and the subsequent aftermath and protests. For our continuing coverage, click here.


    Rashad Robinson 
    is spokesperson for Color Of Change PAC is a Political Action Committee focused on building independent Black political power, amplifying Black voices, electing candidates who share our values, and holding them accountable to our communities. You can find him on Twitter @RashadRobinson.

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