Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus releases statement on George Floyd death

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MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM – JUNE 03: Graffiti artist Akse spray paints a mural of George Floyd in Manchester’s northern quarter on June 03, 2020 in Manchester, United Kingdom. The death of an African-American man, George Floyd, while in the custody of Minneapolis police has sparked protests across the United States, as well as demonstrations of solidarity in many countries around the world. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus released a statement on the death of George Floyd.

The statement reads:

The death of George Floyd has ripped opened the 400-year-old wound that

has pulsed just below the surface, occasionally erupting then subsiding,

resulting in little or nothing in the way of dismantling the systems that have

upheld 400 years of disproportionally policing black bodies.

This time is different. It is clear the slow, deliberate killing of George Floyd by a

police officer sworn to protect and serve is a flashpoint that will not be so

casually extinguished. What we see in the streets of our state and nation is the

result of voices tolerated—sometimes. Then dismissed. No more.

Just as the violence and the looting will not heal the foundational wound of our

country, nor will state-sponsored violent, militaristic responses. The road to real

change begins with the peaceful protestors, community-minded police officers

and elected and community leaders walking hand in hand.

Let’s be clear: Almost all of the protestors are nonviolent. It would be a

disservice to tarnish their engagement in their right to freedom of assembly by

labeling them otherwise.

Instead, be encouraged by the unity led by young people and by a diversity of

people reflective of who we are as a nation, all working together to redefine our

collective future.

In the name of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many others, we call on

everyone to face our history and chart a future of unity. Let’s find ways to work

together to help the women and men in blue become safety officer, not police

officers. Let’s work together to make sure “protect and serve” is never again

used as a license to kill or maim members of the Black community.

Finally, the ALBC asks other legislators of both parties or no party to help us

lead by example. Let’s work together to explore and join peaceful pathways to

dismantling systemic injustices.

Arkansas Legislative Black Caucus

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