Local 100 President Tony Utano Says: 'We Stand With the Floyd Family'

At Barclays Center, Our Bus Operator Refuses to Drive Arrestees to be Booked
At Barclays Center, Our Bus Operator Refuses to Drive Arrestees to be Booked

Members of Congress, powered by the Congressional Black Caucus, as soon as Monday, are expected to put forth federal police reform legislation addressing issues such as police accountability, tactics and training. We support efforts to enact change on a national level and will ensure our voices will be heard.

On the local level, we call on the mayor, governor and police commissioner to focus on de-escalation of conflict and enable New Yorkers to demonstrate peacefully – without curfews. They must provide whatever resources are necessary to allow peaceful protests and, at the same time, the ability to counter the small number of individuals looking to loot or commit acts of violence.
We cannot, however, fight racial violence and prejudice within law enforcement by condemning all police. All cops are not bad, just as we would never allow transit workers to be labeled as all bad by the actions of one or a few.
We welcomed the sight of police officers and supervisors “taking a knee” at recent protests, acknowledging the pain, suffering and outrage. It's a start.

Many transit workers are married to Police Officers. Other members’ sons and daughters are part of the NYPD.  We as transit workers call on the Transit Police many times every day and night to deal with all sorts of unruly and violent passengers. The NYPD right now is investigating the unsolved arson murder of our union brother, Garrett Goble.

On the same day as the George Floyd memorial, we in Local 100 were grieving with the family of our Brother, Nelson Rivera, lost to cancer.  Nelson was not only a passionate advocate for the rights of Local 100 members in the workplace, he was a fervent fighter for racial justice in our society. At his wake, we were all given a memorial card with Nelson’s photo on it.  I flipped it over and read the poem the family had chosen for their beloved husband and father. One stanza of that poem especially caught my attention, because it embodied what Nelson stood for, but also could serve as an example for what we can all do to create a better more just America.

“Whatever cloud may cast a shadow,
He looks to the sun behind it,
And though what he seeks may not be found,
He will still strive to find it.”