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  • Writer's pictureDr. Sydney McKinney

NBWJI Issues Statement on Breonna Taylor and George Floyd

(New York, NY) --- NBWJI released this statement in response to the tragic deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery and the civil unrest sweeping the nation:

We are overwhelmed with profound grief over the senseless and tragic deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery. And, like many, we are outraged. The police killings of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd—and the fact that it took police more than two months to arrest Ahmaud Arbery’s killers, who filmed themselves perpetrating the act, and only did so after public outcry—demonstrate the deep entrenchment of anti-Black sentiment in policing. This sentiment has led to the presumption of guilt and overcriminalization of Black women and men, and our youth, for decades.

The immense pain that we are all feeling right now runs deep and will only heal when there is true accountability and police reform in this country. It must start with recognizing the structural racism embedded within our institutions, particularly law enforcement and the entire criminal-legal system. Only when we acknowledge this disturbing truth will we be able to finally make meaningful change and forge a new path forward, one where police no longer cause fear or harm in our communities.

We wish peace and healing for the families of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Ahmaud Arbery during this challenging time.


The National Black Women’s Justice Institute (NBWJI) works to end the overcriminalization and disproportionate impact of the criminal-legal system on the lives of Black women, girls, and gender-expansive people. We conduct rigorous research and program evaluations, develop innovative policy solutions, and provide training and assistance to community-led organizations and government institutions. Elevating the voices of Black women, girls and gender-expansive people who are directly impacted by the criminal-legal system is critical to our work of positioning their needs and wellbeing at the center of policy and programs. NBWJI works to transform our justice system so that it supports and uplifts all people rather than deepening their marginalization. We envision a society where healing -- not punishment -- is upheld as justice.

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