Dozens of American Jewish groups have pledged to work to end systemic racism in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis.
In a statement Tuesday, 130 organizations said they were “outraged” by the killing of Floyd, a black man who died in police custody last week. His death and those of other African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement have led to protests around the world.
“We stand in solidarity with the black community that has for far too long been targeted by police and have suffered rampant racism and unfair and uneven applications of the law,” the statement reads.
The Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the umbrella body that sets consensus on issues for American Jewish public policy, organized the letter. Signers include the Anti-Defamation League, National Council of Jewish Women, national organizations of the Reform, Conservative and Reconstructionist movements, and groups representing Jewish communities nationwide.
The letter urges government and law enforcement to investigate the officers involved and “to institute sweeping reforms in law enforcement and the criminal justice system.”
“We pledge to join forces with the black community and other Americans to see through these changes to law enforcement, end systemic racism, and work for a more just American society,” it says.
Bay Area signatories to the letter include the Central Pacific Region of the Anti-Defamation League, the Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco, and the Federation, Jewish Family Services, and Community Relations Council of Silicon Valley.
Jewish groups across the denominational spectrum have condemned Floyd’s death.
Meanwhile, the highest-ranking Jewish officer in the American military called Floyd’s death a “national tragedy.”
In a memo distributed late Monday asking commanders to “ensure wide distribution of this message,” U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen.David Goldfein said that “every American should be outraged that the conduct exhibited by police in Minneapolis can still happen in 2020.”
Acknowledging that “what happens on America’s streets is also resident in our Air Force,” he announced that the Air Force inspector general will review the Air Force’s military justice system, racial injustice and opportunities for airmen of all backgrounds to advance.