Harvard University Centers Condemn Recent Police Violence in the United States

The Center for Population and Development Studies joins other Harvard research centers in the condemnation of the vicious murder of George Floyd and all racist violence perpetrated by law enforcement and others in our society. We strongly endorse the joint statement below from the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University,  Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, the International Human Rights Clinic at Harvard Law School, the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice at Harvard Law School, the Edmond J. Safra Center for EthicsHarvard Center for Population and Development StudiesHarvard Law School Criminal Justice InstituteWilliam Monroe Trotter Collaborative for Social Justice, Center for Public Leadership at Harvard Kennedy SchoolHarvard University Center for African StudiesDavid Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, and the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

“We strongly condemn the Minneapolis Police Department’s vicious and brutal murder of George Floyd. This and other recent events highlight the lethal impact of the racist criminalization of Americans of African descent and the need to explicitly name and unequivocally fight against the racism and violence that has been woven into the fabric of the United States since its founding.

It is understandable that this longstanding, flagrant disregard for the human rights of African Americans has led to outrage across the country. We call on law enforcement officers responding to demonstrations to exercise utmost restraint and work closely with community leaders to avoid escalating the situation further.

The murders of African Americans at the hands of police and vigilantes must stop and perpetrators must be charged and brought to justice. As research centers at Harvard University committed to human rights, we affirm the values of racial equity, justice, and non-violence. For the future of the United States, our public leaders must urgently do the same.”