Sara Lonardo

Issued August 26, 2020

SEIU’s Henry: Continued police violence against the Black community must end

"Amid our outrage and grief, I’m inspired by those taking to the streets and demanding change..."


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- In response to police shootings of Black men, the uprisings in Kenosha Wisc. and Lafayette La., and unprecedented actions by NBA teams, SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry issued the following statement:

“I am once again heartbroken and filled with outrage seeing Black men killed or maimed by police officers. Jacob Blake was brutally shot by police in front of his three young sons and is paralyzed. Trayford Pellerin was shot and killed by police.

“Amid our outrage and grief, I’m inspired by those taking to the streets and demanding change, including the Milwaukee Bucks and all NBA players who are using their significant platform to demand racial justice. They continue the tradition of so many Black workers who, throughout our nation's history, have used their power as workers to go on strike demanding action. Because until Black communities thrive, none of our communities can truly thrive. 

“From Minneapolis and Allentown to Kenosha and Lafayette, we have repeatedly seen police officers inflict death, violence, and suffering on Black fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, families and communities. It has to stop. We stand with the families of Jacob Blake and Trayford Pellerin in their time of grief. 

“These repeated acts of violence against Black people send a clear message: too many police do not value the lives of the people in the Black and brown communities they serve in the same way that they do their own.  Once again we call on for a dialogue to reimagine the role of police and the criminal justice system. 

“SEIU members will keep up the fight for racial and economic justice, including educating each other and mobilizing to elect leaders up and down the ballot in November who will take action against racism and police violence and take action for racial justice. We are committed to supporting our members and all community members in Wisconsin and Louisiana who are taking to the streets, speaking out for Black lives, and holding police and elected leaders accountable in those communities.”