Detroit business leaders pledge to support peaceful protests

DETROIT (AP) — Leaders of Detroit's automakers and other business executives on Wednesday pledged to stand with the black community and support peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd and police treatment of African Americans.

The group includes the heads of General Motors, Ford, Fiat-Chrysler North America, Quicken Loans and Ilitch Holdings.

Their statement from the group follows demonstrations and unrest around the U.S. since Floyd's May 25 death after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into the neck of the handcuffed black man for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.

“We are here because we believe it is the responsibility of every American to speak out against the racism, and injustice we are witnessing in our country,” the group said in a statement read in Detroit. “We stand with the black community in calling for change across the nation and acknowledge the pain and loss endured by too many for far too long.”

The group also said it “condemns the acts of injustice” in the Feb. 23 fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery by a white father and son in Glynn County, Georgia, and the March 13 shooting death of Breonna Taylor by police during a warrant search at her Louisville, Kentucky, apartment.

The Detroit group said it will call on government officials “to hold accountable all individuals involved with the deaths that have occurred” and supports calls for independent prosecutions of those accused in the deaths.

Collectively, the leaders also said they are committing to work to eliminate all forms of bias, racism, sexism and violence within their companies.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s office says the executives represent more than 600,000 employees.