“I can’t breathe.” Those were the last words George Floyd uttered before he was killed by a police officer who kneeled directly on Floyd’s neck for seven straight minutes while he lay prostrate on the ground with his hands handcuffed behind his back, in broad daylight.
Floyd’s death comes in the wake of a series of acts of racist violence against African Americans that remind us of the astounding levels of violence and discrimination in the USA that black and brown communities face. This includes the killing of Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was shot in her sleep by the police who broke into her apartment, and the killing of Stephon Clark, who was shot and killed in his grandmother’s backyard with nothing but a cellphone in his pocket, and so many more we may never have the chance to hear their names.
Next week, Arkansas will start up what many are calling an “assembly line of death”. Don. Bruce. Stacey. Ledell. Jack. Marcel. Jason. Kenneth. These are the eight men that Arkansas plans to execute over the course of ten days.
Eight executions in ten days is more than any state has undergone since the Supreme Court reinstated the capital punishment in 1976. So why the rush? Arkansas has exactly eight doses left of a crucial drug used to perform lethal injections, and it’s set to expire at the end of April. So, Governor Asa Hutchinson has scheduled eight executions packed into a ten-day period – as if the justice system was a conveyor belt. This rush to execute is wrong and reckless.
We are in the worst refugee crisis since WWII, with over 21.3 million refugees across the globe. But dozens of hateful anti-refugee bills have been introduced in Congress—and the president has signed an anti-refugee executive order, carrying the force of law. The order bans Syrian refugees; bans visa holders from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen for 90 days; and suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (“USRAP”) for 120 months. At a time when U.S. leadership is vital to protecting lives, the U.S. is abdicating its responsibilities. The executive order signed discrimination into law and amounts to a Muslim ban. Refugees are being scapegoated in the name of national security.
Amnesty International sent delegations to the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation as human rights observers to monitor the response of police to those opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline. Observers witnessed police using excessive force against peaceful human rights defenders, confronting men, women and children.
Under international human rights standards, police should seek to de-escalate tensions and facilitate – not hinder – the right to peaceful protest. Police have instead treated the situation as a battlefield, with military grade armored vehicles, machine guns, surveillance and riot gear.
Officials at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) are doing everything they can to jumpstart executions after over a decade without them — and with the largest death row in the country, they could fast track dozens of cases for execution.
In order to resume executions, California needs to pass a new lethal injection procedure. That’s where you come in: by state law, new procedures must go through a Public Comment Period.
That means anyone in the world, in any language, can send in a comment. The CDCR is required to READ and RESPOND to every substantive comment.
Your action can delay California’s CDCR from using the death penalty and give time to end the death penalty there once and for all.
Click here to let CDCR know there is NO humane way to kill a human being. Take action NOW!