The Black Midwest Initiative, which is based in Minneapolis, joins the chorus of people and organizations who are demanding justice for George Floyd and accountability for the police officers who caused and enabled his death, and we recognize that “justice” and “accountability” operate on different registers for differently situated people. We are simultaneously concerned with advocating for the felt needs of black people that stretch far beyond holding any one police officer or group of officers responsible for George Floyd’s death. This is to say, we understand that policing is a strategy of social control that emerges out of and is fortified by the kinds of racist logics that continue to structure black communities, and that ending policing as we know it also mandates working toward the destruction of all the intersecting forms of oppression that make black people especially vulnerable to physical, emotional, psychological, psychic, and economic violence and premature death. In the current context, this means that we also understand the death of George Floyd at the hands of the state to be tethered to the disastrous state response to the coronavirus pandemic that continues to disproportionately affect and kill black people and is part of the contextual framework of this moment....
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