On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 47-year-old black man, was killed by the Minneapolis Police Department.
The National Medical Association (NMA) extends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Floyd. The killing of George Floyd is another reminder of the lingering effects of institutional racism in many communities throughout these United States. The conduct of these police officers is reprehensible and requires a full criminal and administrative investigation. The National Medical Association is calling for a national response that includes (but is not limited to):
Comprehensive reforms mandating national uniform implicit bias and anti-racism training for all law enforcement agencies.
Immediate development of a federal office responsible for the review of all fatal police excessive-use-of-force cases occurring in local jurisdictions.
Uniform reporting of all deaths by law enforcement utilizing the US Standard Death Certificate.
The immediate discontinuation of police practices that include life threatening maneuvers like the 'choke hold' and the practice of placing weight or force, by any means, on a restrained person's neck which is particularly vulnerable to injury that can easily result in death as in the case of Freddie Gray and now George Ford. Any occurrence of these unauthorized and potentially life-threatening practices being used by law enforcement should result in immediate dismissal and formal investigation of the officer/officers involved.
All police officers are required to voluntarily report any witnessed unauthorized or excessive use of police force by a fellow officer. An omission of reporting such instances is considered an act of complicity.
The NMA is the largest and oldest national organization representing African American physicians and their patients in the United States. The NMA has long asserted police excessive use of force as a public health issue and has published both a position statement on police excess use of force and a position paper on urban violence in minority communities. The organization is committed to addressing issues of social determinants, structural violence and systemic racism that fosters an environment that leads to the disproportionate policing of communities of color.
The National Medical Association is the collective voice of African American physicians and the leading force for parity and justice in medicine. The NMA is the oldest organization of African American professionals in America representing African American physicians and the patients we serve in the United States and its territories.