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
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