Around the Institute

Statement on the Killing of George Floyd

May 28, 2020  • Daniel R. Porterfield

A Statement from Aspen Institute President and CEO Dan Porterfield:

The Aspen Institute shares the grief and anger of Americans everywhere as we react to the unconscionable killing of George Floyd, who died at the hands of Minneapolis police while pleading for his life saying the words, “I can’t breathe.”

Our hearts go out to Mr. Floyd and his family, and to the people of Minneapolis where lives are in jeopardy right now as citizens come out of their homes to condemn Mr. Floyd’s killing. Local authorities must lead wisely, prioritizing justice, and law enforcement must protect public safety in ways that avoid exacerbating injustice and creating more casualties. We need accountability.

In the face of America’s persistent structural racism and violence against individuals and communities of color, we all must do more.

We need to keep calling for accountable government and law enforcement, and social policies that prioritize equity and justice. We need to continue to come up with new ways to embed diversity, equity, and inclusion in the core practices of all of our institutions. And, looking within, we need to discern and confront racism and other learned prejudices in our everyday lives, seeking to understand and dismantle ways that we have either benefited from or perpetuated discrimination and injustice.