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Families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd call for end to racial violence

Civil rights attorneys representing all three families held a virtual press conference to discuss plans to pursue justice in the wake of the three deaths.

NEW YORK — The families of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd are calling for an end to racial violence and an increase in police accountability, with their attorneys set to hold a virtual press conference Friday morning at 11.

The families are issuing a joint statement calling for a congressional hearing and a national task force geared at crafting bipartisan legislation targeting those goals. They will also present a case to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, calling for change to the United States' criminal justice system.

Civil rights attorneys Lee Merritt and Benjamin Crump are representing all three families. The families are asking for a national response to address the violent loss of life of their loved ones.

Merritt and Crump's press conference was streamed on Facebook.

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Forty-six-year-old George Floyd was killed Monday while being arrested. Cellphone video shows a Minneapolis police officer holding Floyd down with his knee as Floyd pleaded that he was in pain and couldn't breathe.

Breonna Taylor was shot at least eight times in March when three Louisville Metro Police officers forcibly entered her apartment to serve a search warrant for a narcotics investigation. The police department said the officers were returning gunfire from Taylor's boyfriend who fired at them first.

Ahmaud Arbery was shot and killed in Brunswick Feb. 23. Cellphone video shows Gregory McMichael, a former Glynn County law enforcement officer and district attorney's office employee, along with his son Travis McMichael wielding guns as Arbery ran along a road, then Travis McMichael firing a shotgun, taking Arbery's life. Both McMichaels along with the man who filmed the video, Roddie Bryan, are charged with murder in Arbery's death.

All three deaths are under investigation.

With the congressional hearing, the families plan to present and amplify legislation designed to reduce police violence and increase accountability. Additionally, they will be presenting a case to the United Nation Human Rights Committee, calling for sweeping changes to our nation’s criminal justice system.

The attorneys released the following statement:

“We’re devastated about the senseless violence that has broken the hearts of our families,” the families said in a joint statement. “While we are grateful for the outpouring of love and support, it’s important that now – more than ever – we use our voices to enact change, demand accountability within our justice system and keep the legacies of Breonna, Ahmaud and George alive. This is a national crisis and our government needs to take immediate and widespread action to protect our black and brown communities.”

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