The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs stands with Harvard University’s research centers devoted to studying human rights. We join in their commitment to condemn police violence in the United States and around the world. The joint statement—now cosigned by many Harvard centers—is as follows:
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.
We stand in solidarity with our colleagues and our community. Please reach out to us if you need any resources or support—we are here to listen and to take action when needed.