Dr. Ansari (being flanked by her Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bharat Kohli and approximately 50 staff
Friday, June 5, employees of the Community Health Center of Buffalo, Inc., led by their CEO Dr. LaVonne Ansari, stood, kneeled, sat or squatted for 8 minutes and 46 seconds as a symbol of world solidarity and humanity. This bold and unprecedented display of professional empathy was in support of the family of George Floyd, an African American man, who died at the knee of a white Minneapolis Minnesota police officer on May 25, 2020. George was being arrested for allegedly passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a corner store. The entire botched arrest was captured on video and has played over and over on local and cable news outlets and social media, for Dr. LaVonne Ansari and the whole world to see.
Seventeen days later, another African American man, Rayshard Brooks of Atlanta, Georgia, died after being shot in the back by a white officer during a police chase. Rayshard was being arrested for falling asleep behind the wheel of his car while parked in a Wendy’s drive thru line.
People of color are being battered by these images that defy humanity and remind us of treatment we received during enslavement. We are living under the threat of pandemic level Covid-19 exposure and feeling overwhelmed by our history of systemic oppression in medical, educational, environmental, soci-economic, and criminal justice. Dr. Ansari stated, “We must pray in solidarity for the families of all those who have died in police custody and those who have died with Covid-19. While these things are bringing angst to Black communities world-wide, we can each do our part by simply taking a moment of solidarity.”
Dr. Ansari (top left) and being flanked by her Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bharat Kohli and approximately 50 staff (right)