For Immediate Release:
April 20, 2021

National Medical Association President’s Statement

The Derek Chauvin Verdict:
Our Advocacy for Justice in Policing Continues 

Dear NMA and Health Professionals,

Our work is not done until the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is signed into law by President Biden. Death and trauma inflicted upon unarmed Black people during encounters with the police is occurring far too often in the United States. Our status as medical professionals does not shield us from unwarranted encounters but does call upon us to be advocates for justice and reform.

As a former Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves, I was appalled to witness the disregard of human rights when Caron Nazario, a second lieutenant and U.S. Army Medic was pulled over for “driving while Black” in Virginia and pepper-sprayed by a police officer. But for the grace of God and Lt. Nazario’s emotional intelligence, he was able to survive this traumatic encounter. I’m recommending that all NMA members and Health Professional Societies/Associations advocate for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

Advocacy for policy and laws that advance social justice is an ongoing effort by the NMA. I’m so appreciative of the leadership and guidance provided by the NMA Gun Violence Task Force Chaired by Dr. Roger Mitchell, Jr., with members including Dr. Michael McGee, Dr. Donna Christensen, Dr. Mallory Williams, Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith, Dr. Aletha Maybank, Dr. Eva Frazer, Dr. Rahn Bailey, and Dr. Denisha Jenkins. Please see some examples of the forward thinking work below:

The National Medical Association is the collective voice of African American physicians and the leading force for parity and justice in medicine. The NMA is the oldest organization of African American professionals in America representing African American physicians and the patients we serve in the United States and its territories.


Leon McDougle, MD, MPH
President, National Medical Association

Contact: Michael Peery
(312) 217-2260