FILE PHOTO: Mark Mason, CEO of Citi Private Bank, speaks during the Global Wealth Management Summit in New York June 17, 2014. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Citigroup Inc Chief Financial Officer Mark Mason, one of the few black executives on Wall Street, published a personal essay on Friday expressing his “horror, disgust and anger” over the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck.
Mason’s post on Citi’s website began with “I can’t breathe,” repeated 10 times. Floyd said that phrase as he was dying, according to video of his arrest, as did Eric Garner, another black man who died after being placed in a chokehold by a New York City police officer in 2014.”Even though I’m the CFO of a global bank, the killings of George Floyd in Minnesota, Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia and Breonna Taylor in Kentucky are reminders of the dangers Black Americans like me face in living our daily lives,” Mason wrote.
Taylor, an emergency medical technician, was killed by police conducting a search at her apartment in Louisville on March 13. Arbery was killed on Feb. 23 as he jogged through the coastal community of Brunswick. Three white men, including a former police officer, have been charged with his murder.
Mason wrote that the incidents had affected him deeply and that his family planned to donate to three nonprofit groups: the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Advancement Project and Color of Change.
Video of Floyd’s death on Monday, shared widely on social media, has triggered a wave of protests across the United States focused on racial inequity and injustice.
The CEOs of JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co, who are both white, also put out statements on Friday denouncing racism and discrimination.
Reporting by Aakriti Bhalla in Bengaluru; Elizabeth Dilts Marshall and Imani Moise in New York; Editing by Sandra Maler, Cynthia Osterman and Daniel Wallis