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For Immediate Release: May 26, 2020 

Contact: apala@apalanet.org 

APALA Enraged by Asian American Officer Who Stood as a Bystander During George Floyd’s Violent Murder

Washington, DC - On Monday, May 25th, George Floyd, a 46 year old Black man, died after being violently arrested and pinned to the ground in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Floyd had just moved to Minneapolis a few years prior to be closer to his family. He was a bouncer at a local restaurant but was hoping to train to become a truck driver. The news of his violent murder is heartbreaking for many who knew him, and for the nation that continues to grapple with racial injustice. 

It was just a few weeks ago that our communities had to rally for justice for Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. It has been six years since we heard Eric Garner cry “I can’t breathe.” We will not see justice for Black people until we address our nation’s violent carceral system, which is more clear than ever with the COVID-19 pandemic. Transforming our nation’s harmful carceral system means that police officers should maintain social distancing by decreasing their presence in our communities and that folks jailed, incarcerated, and detained should be released so that they can practice social distancing and better hygiene. 

Alvina Yeh, Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance said, “We are equally enraged and ashamed to learn that an Asian American police officer, Tou Thao, just stood watch as his co-worker treated George Floyd inhumanely. This hits home for us as we close out Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, a time when so many of us reflect on our Asian American identity and how it had emerged from the Black liberation movement. We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again because the work continues; we all have a role in responding to atrocious acts of violence. As Asian American and Pacific Islander working people, we commit to leveraging our power to dismantle oppressive systems, addressing anti-blackness in the AAPI community, and loving and fighting for our black siblings.”

The Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA), AFL-CIO was founded in 1992 as the first and only national organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) union members to advance worker, immigrant and civil rights. Learn more at www.apalanet.org. Renew or become a member here.
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