How are big tech companies responding to George Floyd killing?

From public sentiments to multi-million donations big tech is responding in big ways

In the days after the death of George Floyd, heavy hitters in the tech industry released statements addressing systematic racism.

Many, including Facebook, Google and Amazon, have even pledged tens of millions to organizations working to fight racial injustice. The efforts were announced days after Floyd was died after Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer who was fired and charged with second-degree murder, knelt down on his neck for several minutes as Floyd pleaded for air. After Floyd's death, which was captured on video, companies joined a nationwide call for change.

The companies and their executives, to no surprise, have turned to their platforms to publicly speak about Floyd, police brutality and racial injustice.


Here is some  of what they are saying:


"This is a moment when many people may want nothing more than a return to normalcy, or to a status quo that is only comfortable if we avert our gaze from injustice," Apple's CEO Tim Cook said in an open letter on the company's website."As difficult as it may be to admit, that desire is itself a sign of privilege. George Floyd’s death is shocking and tragic proof that we must aim far higher than a 'normal' future, and build one that lives up to the highest ideals of equality and justice."

Cook went on: In the words of Martin Luther King, “Every society has its protectors of status quo and its fraternities of the indifferent who are notorious for sleeping through revolutions. Today, our very survival depends on our ability to stay awake, to adjust to new ideas, to remain vigilant and to face the challenge of change.”

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"We believe black lives matter. We stand in solidarity with our black employees, customers and partners, and are committed to helping build a country and a world where everyone can live with dignity and free from fear," Amazon wrote on its online marketplace.

As part of that effort, Amazon is allocating $10 million to organizations that are working to bring about social justice "and improve the lives of black and African Americans."

Recipients of the funds include NAACP, National Urban League, Thurgood Marshall College Fund and UNCF among others.

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"The pain of the last week reminds us how far our country has to go to give every person the freedom to live with dignity and peace," Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his profile page. "It reminds us yet again that the violence black people in America live with today is part of a long history of racism and injustice. We all have the responsibility to create change. We stand with the black community -- and all those working towards justice in honor of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and far too many others whose names will not be forgotten."

The company is donating $10 million to groups working on racial justice, Zuckerberg said. "We're working with our civil rights advisors and our employees to identify organizations locally and nationally that could most effectively use this right now."

However, Zuckerberg noted that the money alone can't fix this issue. "It needs sustained, long term effort," he explained.

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"Coming together as a community and showing support is important, but it isn’t enough. So today, we are announcing a few initial commitments to meet the urgency of the moment," Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced in an open letter.

As a response, the company is allocating $12 million to organizations working to address racial inequities with the first grants of $1 million each going towards the company's long-term partners at the Center for Policing Equity and the Equal Justice Initiative.

But the donations aren't enough, Pichai warned.

"The events of the past few weeks reflect deep structural challenges," Pichai said. "We’ll work closely with our Black community to develop initiatives and product ideas that support long-term solutions—and we’ll keep you updated. As part of this effort, we welcome your ideas on how to use our products and technology to improve access and opportunity."

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"There is no place for hate and racism in our society," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said across his various social media platforms. "Empathy and shared understanding are a start, but we must do more. I stand with the black and African American community and we are committed to building on this work in our company and in our communities."

On June 1, Nadella said the company will be using its platform to "amplify" the voices of its black and African American workers. Since then the company has posted a string of tweets filled with messages from its employees.

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"Amid the already growing fear and uncertainty around the pandemic, this week has again brought attention to something perhaps more pervasive: the long-standing racism and injustices faced by Black and Brown people on a daily basis," the company tweeted.

The social media company changed its profile picture and backdrop in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. It also added the BlackLivesMatter hashtag to its bio with a link to its diversity page.

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Days after Floyd's May 25 death, Tesla CEO Elon Musk responded to a Twitter video from Floyd's brother who was addressing a crowd of protests.

"Definitely not right that the other officers were charged with nothing," Musk tweeted." What message does this send in general to officers who stand by while another does wrong?"

Shortly after, the three other officers at the scene were charged for the first time with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin, who placed his knee on Floyd's neck for several minutes, has been charged with second-degree murder. All four officers were fired, and the three other officers have since been charged as accessories.

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Alphabet-owned YouTube also pledged a hefty sum to support the Center for Policing Equity. The company tweeted it was pledging support of "efforts to address social injustice."


The Associated Press contributed to this report.