SUNY Downstate President Wayne J. Riley M.D. on today’s Resident die-in against police brutality, health disparities and in solidarity with George Floyd

By Office of Communications & Marketing | Jul 4, 2020

MEDIA CONTACT: John Gillespie | | (314) 708-9090

BROOKLYN, N.Y. (June 4, 2020) – Today, SUNY Downstate Emergency Medicine Resident Physicians, along with their colleagues from SUNY Downstate’s 51 other residency and fellowship programs, took their support for the black and brown communities of Brooklyn to the middle of Clarkson Avenue.

“Donning their black scrubs and white coats, several hundred physicians and other healthcare workers who have dedicated their lives to the preservation of life, staged a “Die-In” against police brutality, the health disparities that are endemic in Brooklyn and have been so devastating in this pandemic, and in solidarity with George Floyd and his family, the unarmed African American man who died last week at the hands of four police officers.

“For more than three months, our Downstate residents have been on the frontlines of the battle against COVID-19 in Brooklyn, the epicenter of the pandemic that has devastated communities of color.

“I am thankful for the skill and dedication of these physicians and our healthcare teams, and applaud their commitment to their convictions, which embodies the true spirit of their sacred oath, and which they so thoughtfully and powerfully demonstrated today.”


About SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University is the borough’s only academic medical center for health education, research, and patient care, and is a 342-bed facility serving the healthcare needs of New York City, and Brooklyn’s 2.6 million residents. University Hospital of Brooklyn (UHB) is Downstate’s teaching hospital, backed by the expertise of an outstanding medical school and the research facilities of a world-class academic center. More than 800 physicians, representing 53 specialties and subspecialties—many of them ranked as tops in their fields—comprise Downstate's staff.

A regional center for cardiac care, neonatal and high-risk infant services, pediatric dialysis, and transplantation, Downstate also houses a major learning center for children with physical ailments or neurological disorders. In addition to UHB, Downstate comprises a College of Medicine, College of Nursing, School of Health Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, and a multifaceted biotechnology initiative, including the Downstate Biotechnology Incubator and BioBAT for early-stage and more mature companies, respectively. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter at @sunydownstate.