I am shocked and saddened by the death of Mr. Floyd. It is heartbreaking to see our country continue to be a place that remains insensitive and blind to the difficulties our black community continues to face.

Accountability is the cornerstone of justice and the bedrock of trust between a community and their law enforcement. The officer that killed Mr. Floyd has rightfully been arrested and charged with murder, but we continue to wait for the three officers that stood by and did nothing to be charged as accessories. Our officers need to be trained in culturally competent techniques that diffuse highly charged emotional situations instead of answering long standing frustrations with brute force and posturing.

We desperately need an environment where our citizens feel safe to call those that protect and serve when needed without fear for their lives.

That same accountability must be applied to those that would capitalize on fear, hate and frustration, taking advantage of a difficult moment in America’s history to instigate violence and vandalism. This does nothing but diminish the power and history of communities coming together in peaceful protest and cannot be tolerated.

Our communities need conversations between all different members that develops trust and real strategies to bring solutions before these long-standing frustrations reach a boiling point. In our towns and cities, everyone has a place and a voice.

The culture of our community is in need of change and it is incumbent upon us to lead that change, especially when the current administration has no better solution than more violence. It is a sad day for America and we all have to stand for each other in this difficult time. Please be careful, but please continue to stand for what is right and know that we can no longer turn the other cheek.

Know that I stand with you and will do everything in my power to be sure we all are treated equal under the law.

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