JPMorgan CEO calls Minneapolis events ‘tragic, heartbreaking’ in staff memo

FILE PHOTO: Jamie Dimon, chairman & CEO of JP Morgan Chase & Co., speaks during the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York City, New York, U.S., September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

NEW YORK (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon called events in Minneapolis, where this week a black man died in police custody, “tragic and heartbreaking” in a memo to staff on Friday.

Minneapolis has been the site of unrest since the death of George Floyd after a white police officer knelt on his neck as he gasped for breath and pleaded for help. On Friday, the white police officer was arrested and charged with murder.

Dimon said that JPMorgan, the largest U.S. bank, is “watching, listening and want every single one of you to know we are committed to fighting against racism and discrimination,” according to the memo seen by Reuters.

“This reality, coupled with the COVID crisis, highlights the inequities black and other diverse communities have and continue to face every day and it strengthens our resolve to do more as individuals, as a firm, and in our communities,” Dimon wrote, in the memo also signed by the bank’s global head of diversity & inclusion, Brian Lamb.

Dimon has been public about the bank’s efforts to address racism after the New York Times reported in December instances of racial discrimination at the bank’s branches in the Phoenix, Arizona area, citing audio recordings as evidence.

Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts Marshall; Editing by Sandra Maler and Cynthia Osterman