JDI Statement on Police Killings and State-Sanctioned Violence against Black People

June 3, 2020

Just Detention International condemns the killing of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, and so many other Black people at the hands of law enforcement. We are joining hundreds of allies in demanding federal, state, and local action to end police violence, once and for all.

State-sanctioned violence against people of color is endemic, in our streets and inside our detention facilities. At JDI, we deal every day with the horrors of prisoner rape — a systemic crisis that, like police brutality, disproportionately affects people of color; adults and teens who are targeted for arrest, harsh punishment, and imprisonment at far higher rates than white people and who are devastatingly overrepresented behind bars. The killing of George Floyd is part of this long history of racist violence.

At JDI, we stand in solidarity with Black people, and with everyone who opposes the systemic, nationwide oppression of marginalized communities.

Violence plagues every facet of our criminal justice system. A staggering 200,000 people are sexually assaulted in U.S. detention facilities every year. When you’re fighting a human rights crisis of this magnitude, helplessness can set in. And yet, we cannot give up. Systemic violence is preventable, whether it’s police brutality or prisoner rape.

George Floyd should still be alive today. People who wield power — either because they carry a badge or hold the key to a cell — must be held accountable. We won’t stop fighting until they are.