This statement from John Groetelaars, Hillrom Chief Executive Officer, was released to all Hillrom employees and on social media on May 31, 2020.
Nearly one week ago, an African American man named George Floyd died in police custody in the state of Minnesota. Sadly and painfully, this is not a unique case and is the cause of great pain, mourning and outcry in our country.
George Floyd is just the latest victim in a trend of senseless deaths of African Americans, which reinforces that as a community we have to work harder for equal human rights of all people. More to the point, we need to advance values that help ensure people do not need to live in fear for their safety and security because of the color of their skin.
Let me say unequivocally: our company stands on the side of justice, on the side of respectful treatment of all citizens. We share in the pain of yet another African American death at the hands of those whose responsibility it is to prevent such tragedies.
We are all impacted when senseless deaths occur, especially when there is a pattern of deaths impacting a particular race. Racism is pervasive; if left unchecked it can be contagious, and is proving difficult to eradicate. At this critical moment I pray for comfort for the bereaved and hear the voices of those protesting injustices.
Our response as a company and as colleagues must be to reinforce our Hillrom values, especially that of Respect.
It is at pivotal times like this one that we advance a culture at Hillrom where we all are committed to improve social equality and economic opportunity. As we have said countless times before: in our company, there is no tolerance for any type of harassment or discrimination. Hillrom’s values promote only the opposite: respectful dialogue, support for one another and a collaborative spirit that brings us together.