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NYC healthcare workers stand with Black Lives Matter

New York: On June 4 healthcare workers at Bellevue, Kings County, Lincoln, Jacobi, and Montefiore Hospitals demonstrated across New York City in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. This action was organized by resident physicians and nurses with help from the Committee for Interns and Residents, New York State Nurses Association, and the NYC Coalition to Dismantle Racism in the health system. “We have been called heroes as we have risen to the challenge of serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. We now rise for racial injustice and fight against the insidious disease that is police violence,” they said in a press statement. 

“As healthcare workers, we condemn the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Aubrey, Tony McDade, Sean Reed and countless others at the hands of police in
acts of racist violence. Law enforcement has been used to oppress Black communities and recklessly endanger Black bodies for decades. The police continue to do so with impunity. We bear witness to this violence against our patients and communities, and join calls across the country to dismantle the racist institution of policing and the anti-Black racism that erodes our nation.

“We denounce racism within and beyond our hospitals. We acknowledge the racism present within our practice of medicine, which translates into preventable death from diseases of poverty, segregated healthcare, disproportionately high Black maternal mortality, and more. The injustice within our own healthcare system further compounds the vast network of social inequalities. Today, we see how these systems manifest in the disproportionate toll of COVID-19 on the Black community.

“In New York City and nationwide, police have been inappropriately tasked with addressing public health problems, and in doing so, they have exacerbated the public health crisis in the Black community. Police officers are given the power to address issues intimately tied to health, such as homelessness, mental health crises, domestic violence, and substance use. Police officers work within a racist law enforcement system that has lost touch with its mission to protect the public. Instead, they repeatedly subject the Black community to police brutality, excessive use of force, and forced cycling through a racist criminal justice system.”

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