Council 4 Condemns George Floyd Killing

June 1, 2020

Jody Barr, Council 4 Executive Director:
The shocking killing of George Floyd has unleashed a torrent of anger and protest in the middle of a devastating public health crisis that has deepened the fault lines that exist in our country. If ever there was a time for conversation about racism, economic inequality and health disparities, it is now. If ever there was a time for peaceful and meaningful protest – without violence, without illegal acts – it is now.

Our union is made up of 30,000 front-line workers whose occupations range from child abuse investigators to snow plow drivers, police officers to paraprofessionals, non-teaching college faculty to nurses, correction officers to sanitation workers, unemployment claims specialists to public housing maintainers, school custodians to social services providers, clerical workers to attorneys—and many more.

Whatever we do for a living, whatever our political beliefs, our gender, our racial and ethnic makeup, we are united by a common goal: to harness the power of collective bargaining to lift up workers by making sure they earn fair wages, have good healthcare and retirement security, and a real voice on the job.

AFSCME has a long and proud history of advancing the intertwined causes of workers’ rights, civil rights and human rights. We are not going to fall prey to division. Instead, we will continue to unite around our goal of empowering workers to improve their lives, their jobs and the health of their communities by joining together in a union.

--Jody Barr is Executive Director of Council 4, a union representing 30,000 workers in state and local government, boards of education, and the private sector.

Sgt. Jeffrey Reimer, Chair, Council 4 Public Safety Coalition:
On behalf of the 2,000 police officers who are part of AFSCME Council 4, we denounce the senseless killing of George Floyd. I want to make it clear that good police officers in Connecticut do not conduct business the way these renegade officers did in Minneapolis. What happened to Mr. Floyd was an absolute misuse of force. It never should have happened. The Minneapolis police officers involved in this heinous action put the rest of us at risk. There is no justification for what they did.

As officers sworn to protect and serve our communities, we believe in the constitutionally guaranteed right to peaceful protest. We also believe that rioting and looting are not acceptable. The destruction of property and threats to human life must stop now. This is a time for constructive engagement, not more injustice and more violence.”

--Jeffrey Reimer is Chairman of the Council 4 Public Safety Coalition, which represents approximately 2,000 municipal police officers throughout Connecticut. He is a sergeant with the East Windsor Police Department.