Congressman José E. Serrano

Representing the 15th District of New York

Congressman Serrano’s Statement on Protests Across the Country and Events in the Bronx

Jun 2, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman José E. Serrano released the following statement:

“As someone who has worked on making the U.S. Justice system fairer and advancing civil rights in our country for decades, I am deeply troubled by the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota and the events that have unfolded in recent days. Clearly and unfortunately, we have two justice systems in America and the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery and many others are the most recent examples of the systemic racism that permeates the U.S. justice system. During the past several months, African-Americans, Latinos and other minorities in my district and across this country have borne the brunt of the health and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Millions in America have lost a source of income or are unemployed today and feel like their voices and needs do not matter.

“Our communities are hurting and the outcry for justice is warranted and necessary. I stand with the peaceful protesters across the country fighting for police reform, accountability, and racial justice.  We need to do more to tackle systemic racism in law enforcement, to make sure that officers who commit crimes are held accountable, and to prevent abuse and impunity from occurring in the first place. As Chairman of the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Department of Justice, I am carefully looking at our funding bill for ways to help prevent abuse and the deadly use of force from taking place and to hold officers accountable, including programs that promote police and community partnerships. We must all work together to make these much-needed reforms. If these events don’t make that obvious, then I don’t know what will.

“The failure of leadership by the President in this moment of crisis has made this work harder.  We are currently led by a man without compassion or competence.  His actions continue to promote division and hate.  Our nation deserves better than that.

“Having said that, we cannot let the anger and frustration turn into destruction.  Looting does nothing to accomplish the needed reforms to make our nation a fairer and more just place.  The actions in the Fordham section of our borough last night are deeply unhelpful in achieving positive change and I strongly condemn them.   

“The fight for racial justice must be waged peacefully.  We must dedicate ourselves to the hard work of creating a fairer and more just society- through conversation, though legislation, through voting, and through accountability. That is the only way we can make change, and honor the memory of George Floyd and so many others.

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 Congressman José E. Serrano has represented The Bronx in Congress since 1990.