(UPDATED) Arizonans React to the Tragic Murder of George Floyd

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Photo From ABC News

Better late than never for Governor Doug Ducey

Before the Grand Canyon State Governor issued his Curfew proclamation without consulting with the Mayors of Arizona’s two largest cities (Phoenix and Tucson) or the Democrats in the State Legislature (please click here for Michael Bryan’s article on the subject,) he did see fit, six days after the event, to tweet his feelings on the murder of George Floyd that has led to the week of protests in Minnesota, Arizona, and around the country.

The Governor wrote:

“The death of George Floyd is tragic and abhorrent. It should be condemned by leaders at all levels ⁠— and we should listen to those who seek to have a civil dialogue on how to ensure it never happens again.”

 Good words but they came after many Arizona Public Servants (those serving and running for office) had already made their sentiments known.

Even the coach of the Phoenix Suns, Monty Williams, beat Governor Ducey in issuing and more poignant statement, which read in part:

“…..I pray for those we have lost but more personally for those who have lost – the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and so many before you. I know how it feels to get that call that someone you love isn’t coming home. The pit in your stomach. The unequivocal feeling of helplessness. Dropping to your knees and imploring God “why?” I feel your pain and can truly sympathize and empathize. I wish no one would ever have to receive that call again…..”

 “I’m distraught as I look at my boys – two are African American and one is Caucasian – because too many people see them differently. None of them should have to think about how law enforcement will treat them if pulled over for rolling through a stop sign. None of them should be followed through a department store by security. None of them should feel the sweat rolling down their back when a cop follows them for blocks. Alas, their worlds are different, and something is wrong with that….”

“To those who have sworn to protect and serve ALL people regardless of color, religion or sexual orientation, I say thank you. We have an institutional problem with pervasive racism. It must end now.”

“To those who are using the façade of a protest or march by choosing to destroy and tear down, I challenge you to be better. As I tell my players, I’m not calling you out, I’m calling you up. Destruction of property and life is NOT the answer.”

“It IS time to raze the institutional foundations of racism and segregation within politics, law enforcement and society at large. It must happen NOW.”

“Borrowing from C.S. Lewis, “you can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

“We must be the change now.”

 Please read below to see how other leading Arizonans (both serving and running for office) reacted to the murder of George Floyd and the events that occurred after.

Senator Kyrsten Sinema quoted from a May 29 article in AZ Central:

“George Floyd should still be alive today. The video of Mr. Floyd’s death shows probable cause for an arrest of the officer involved. I support the ongoing investigations and hope justice will be done because bad police officers make it harder for good police officers to do their jobs safely.”

Senator Martha McSally, in the same AZ Central piece, said that Floyd’s murder was

“Tragic and callous” and “unacceptable and deeply troubling. Those protesting in cities across the nation have every right to do so, but looting, violence, and chaos have no place in our communities or on our streets. Together is the only way our nation will overcome the many struggles we face today.”

Captain Mark Kelly, the candidate looking to win McSally’s Senate seat this November tweeted:

“I’m horrified by the murder of George Floyd. The arrest of this officer, while delayed, is hopefully the first step on a path to justice. The pain felt by those who have lived similar experiences, or fear that they will, is real and overwhelming.”

“We must demand accountability and a just system that does not discriminate against anyone because of race. Our country is at its best when we make progress without violence.”

The Mayors of Phoenix and Tucson (the ones who found out about Governor Ducey’s curfew declaration by Twitter) issued statements regarding the tragedy and urged calm for their residents.

Mayor Kate Gallego’s statement read:

“It’s hard to know what to say at a moment like this. People are hurt, upset, and angry, and they have a right to be. This pain and frustration comes from a lived experience that isn’t mine but that does not diminish the role I must play in helping to change the future. Part of my job in a moment like this is to listen above all else.”

“The killing of George Floyd takes place against a backdrop of systemic inequities, particularly for African-Americans, that are larger than any one incident. We all have a responsibility to address this inequity. People are right to stand up and demand change.”

“We must have high standards for all public servants, including law enforcement. There are many officers looking at, and reflecting upon, this incident who are motivated to work even harder to build greater trust with communities where that relationship has eroded. Most residents understand the difficult tightrope officers must walk every day.”

“As we work to implement change and push toward racial equity, I ask residents to continue to look out for one another and recognize that hurt begets hurt.”

Later, in response to Governor Ducey’s curfew order, Mayor Gallego wrote:

“Over the last week, our nation has heard the collective voices of individuals whose requests for a fulsome conversation on racial equity in America have languished for far too long. Another African American, George Floyd, lost his life at the hands of a police officer, and it reopened a wound that has never healed.”

“Individuals have taken to the streets to peaceably protest mistreatment and spur an important conversation. Their voices should be heard.”

“A smaller group, not driven by this same desire for greater change, took to the streets to vandalize our city. These actions are not reflective of the majority of protesters and should not overshadow a larger push for justice. I support our community’s right to peaceably protest and I understand that painful experiences have catalyzed these gatherings.”

“Per the Governor’s decree, individuals must abide by an 8PM curfew until Monday, June 8.”

“If you are going to attend a protest please ensure that you have plenty of water, wear a mask to protect against COVID-19 and that you are home by 8PM in accordance with the statewide ordinance. Phoenix is our home and it will be beyond the time we are in now; we will come out stronger.”

Tucson Mayor Reginia Romero struck a similar tone in a statement to Tucson residents saying:

“This week has been a painful week for our community on top of an incredibly painful few months.​”

For our black brothers and sisters, this week has tapped into a deep and generational pain rooted in a long history of inequity and oppression.”

On Monday, we woke up to horrifying images of a police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd. We heard his desperate cries for help – cries we have heard before: “I can’t breathe”

It’s heart-breaking. It’s maddening. It’s senseless. As a mother, and as a human being, hearing Mr. Floyd’s cries broke my heart.”

Images like these expose the underlying, systemic, and institutionalized racism and inequities that are embedded in our society.”

We have a moral obligation to call out racism in all of its forms.”

George Floyd and his family deserve swift justice. Systemic reform is long overdue.”

Chief Magnus was correct when he said that Officer Chavuin’s murderous actions are contrary to how PROFESSIONAL police officers train & conduct themselves.”

Conduct like this anywhere makes it more difficult for police everywhere to build community trust.”

I’m grateful for the professionalism and restraint that our police officers showed last night, in a very dangerous and volatile situation.”

Let’s talk about last night. What I saw was not Tucson, and it’s not going to be what moves us forward.”

Harming, locally-owned, mom & pop businesses and inflicting harm does nothing to accomplish justice for George Floyd and only serves to divide our community.”

These are not just businesses – they are people’s livelihoods. They help put food on the table for them and their families. They are Tucsonans.”

Many are minority-owned and are already suffering greatly during the difficult times we are living in. Please, honor the life of George Floyd not by causing others pain, but by seeking justice in his memory.”

Now is the time to LISTEN, and grieve alongside our black brothers and sisters as we mourn another senseless and disgusting act of violence.” 

Please, do not diminish and co-opt our African American community’s peaceful demands and demonstrations for justice with more senseless acts of violence.”

We can only imagine the pain our African American community is going through at this moment.”

That is why it is important that we hear and look up to the individuals who have been on the frontlines of fighting for justice.”

Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans, who, unlike Gallego and Romero, did speak with Governor Ducey after he proclaimed the curfew. She later spoke at an event at the Flagstaff Medical Center. The Mayor and Legislative District Six State House candidate commented in reference to the tragedy in Minnesota and the Governor’s curfew that:

“I realize that it is yet another disruption in a year of disruptions. I really want to say that I believe we all need to be unified in our approach when it comes to moving our communities forward…..We need to get on the same page with that if we’re going to get through the economic, health, cultural, class, and race crises.”

 Former Phoenix Mayor and current Congressional District Nine House Representative Greg Stanton commented (via Twitter) that:

“We have an urgent, moral imperative … to do more to course-correct our nation’s long history of racial violence.”  

“In just the past few weeks, we’ve witnessed diverse but telling acts of profound racism in America. The advent of technology and a camera in everyone’s hand continue to bring to light the pain and terror black communities have experienced for generations.” 

Fellow Arizona House Representative Ruben Gallego, as relayed by AZ Central, commented:

“The type of choke that was used on Mr. Floyd was a blood choke. You have to be very careful about how to use it. He’s already handcuffed. There’s no reason to do this. That is straight-up murder. We’re lucky we caught it on camera.”

 “What matters is we’re catching the ones we don’t catch on camera. Time and time again there’s a cozy relationship between the police officers, the police union and the district attorney. We need to take the district attorneys out of it, and we need to bring in federal prosecutors”

Congressman Raul Grijalva said, according to AZ Central, what happened with Floyd was:

“An act of murder, plain and simple. George Floyd, and all the other black and brown men and women needlessly murdered by state forces in cold blood, deserve justice. I’m calling for immediate charges to be filed and join House Judiciary Committee colleagues in urging DOJ to investigate patterns of racially motivated police misconduct.”

Representative Anne Kirkpatrick comments, including a quote from Martin Luther King included:

“George Floyd deserves justice. #BlackLivesMatter. A riot is the language of the unheard.” 

Congressman Thomas O’Halleran issued a statement through his office which read:

“I continue to be shocked and saddened by what happened to George Floyd. The videos released show cruelty and utter indifference to Mr. Floyd – not just by the officer who put his knee to his throat, but also by the other officers at the scene. At the time he was pleading for his life, Mr. Floyd was restrained and not resisting arrest. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with his family and friends.”

 “I am a former police officer and homicide detective. I took the oath to serve and protect our communities and to uphold the Constitution. Policing is a dangerous profession, and officers need to be alert to potential dangers in any given situation. However, we were trained on how to assess and address threats to people. In this situation, the threat to Mr. Floyd was obvious. Forcing a knee in someone’s throat is not a restraining technique permitted by any training I am aware of, and it is something I never witnessed as an officer.”

 “Sadly, this is not a new type of occurrence. We need to review how racism and racial biases impact each step of the criminal justice system, including policing. We, as a country, need to address these disparities—not just within the criminal justice system, but also more broadly in society. We need to improve our understanding of racism. This will allow us to work toward a better future.”

 With the exception of Republican Representative David Schweikert (who is in the political campaign of his life) who called the George Floyd death “tragic,” the other Republican House Representatives have either been silent (Debbie Lesko) or just commented on the need for law and order (Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, and Schweikert.)

The candidates running to defeat them had a different perspective on last weeks events

 Delina DiSanto, the candidate looking to defeat Gosar, issued a statement, replying to a request from Blog for Arizona, which read:

“First I want to say my heart aches for George Floyd’s family and friends. This should not have happened. This tragedy has caused so much suffering and anger and now the destruction of a city.”

“What happened in Minnesota this past week to George Floyd is unconscionable. The white police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on George’s neck for more than 8 minutes, all while George Floyd had his hands cuffed behind his back and repeating he can’t breathe, shows the disregard for black human life. Besides cutting off his airway, I’m sure George was hyperventilating. This causes the narrowing of red blood vessels that supply blood to the brain, which leads to unconsciousness and death. With his coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease conditions, he could not sustain any obstruction of oxygen. If this were a white man, this would have not happened. I am glad to hear of Derek Chavin’s arrest.”

 I have to give the Mayor of Minneapolis, Jacob Frey, much credit. He came right out in the beginning to say if George Floyd was white, he would still be alive. He also agreed now-former police officer Derek Chauvin should be arrested. Mayor Frey pointed out he understood the anger of the residents. Under the circumstances with protesting turned into rioting and buildings being destroyed, their National Guard had to be called in. It is a shame for all the damage being done, the looting, and the threat of human life being taken by fire or running rioters, that the cause for “Black Lives Matter” not be more peaceful. I have seen black lives harassed, pushed to the limit, arrested under suspicion and understand their plight. The rioters are angry and have no other way to express their anger. This needs to be addressed for them. Then there are the opportunists taking advantage of this anger by stealing merchandise and not really there for the death of George Floyd. Arrests should be done to those that are blatantly breaking the law.”

“ From all this and centuries of these same beliefs and acts of violence, we must all come together to the table and act now to address this monstrous, hurtful, deep-rooted, issue of racism. It can no longer be blatant. We all must be accountable for our words and actions. We all need education, compassion for one another and healing. It’s way past time.”

Joan Greene, the Democrat looking to retire Andy Biggs, replied to a request for Blog for Arizona and wrote:

“The racism and hate have been horrible, mind-numbing and heartbreaking.”

 “A woman who responded to a man telling her she needed to put her dog on a leash called and lied to the police that she was being threatened by an African American. The consequences of that call could have been deadly for the man.”

 “Gun owners who do not like the COVID restrictions in KY hung in effigy the KY governor on their state capitol grounds.”

 “Minneapolis police officer, for no reason except he felt entitled to, kneeled on George Floyd’s neck for seven minutes killing him.”

 “And these are just three incidents within days of each other.”

 “We are not a Nation of one skin color. We are a Nation of various rich hues. We are blended families by marriage, birth, and by choice.”

 “Our families, friends, neighbors should never have to worry if their black or brown sons, brothers, fathers, husbands will make it home.”

“As a society we cannot, must not, stand still, wring our hands and do nothing.”

“This is not a partisan problem. It is a societal  problem and we know what the poison is that has infected parts of our Nation.”

“We must have leaders on both sides of the aisle who will provide the antidote and move us from a ‘Country of Me’ towards a ‘Country of We’.”

“We stand strong together, we will thrive together.”

The candidates vying for the Democratic Party nomination to run against David Schweikert also expressed their thoughts on the Floyd murder and subsequent events.

Anita Malik, in a tweet, stated:

“As we process & demand justice for the recent horrific acts of hate, I’m heartbroken and disgusted. We can only defeat this systemic racism that plagues us together. #BlackLivesMatter”

#ChristianCooper we’re grateful you are ok. #GeorgeFloyd #AhmaudArbery we won’t forget.”

 Stephanie Rimmer wrote a series of comments via Twitter:

“I’ve been thinking a lot about George Floyd. The thing is, police violence toward black men needs to be addressed as a public health concern. We need a national police violence prevention month to draw more attention to this. We can’t just talk about it here and there.”

 “Minneapolis police say an officer in the video had 18 prior complaints. How is this ok? We need standards. Some states give criminals three strikes. Violent cops get 18?”

“In all other crimes caught on video, the only delay would be finding the suspect. This (the arrest of the officer that suffocated Mr. Floyd) took too long.”

She also issued, in response to a request from Blog For Arizona, a statement, which read:

“As a lifelong advocate for equal rights, I know we need systemic change, and we need it now.  We are long overdue for significant actions to address the many inequities existent in our country.”

“I am deeply disheartened by the looters who seek to capitalize on the protests meant to draw attention to the killings of George Floyd and Dion Johnson.”

”We must stand against the severe level of violence on our black community, not once in a while but every day. I support prosecuting criminals of all professions, and that includes criminal cops. I stand in support of peaceful protest to demand meaningful change now—black lives matter.”

Dr. Hiral Tipirneni also tweeted:

“The events in MN are just the latest to lay bare the grief, frustration & abyss of suffering African Americans have endured for far too long. Now’s the time allies must speak out-we won’t stand by as black lives are deemed expendable. We demand justice & real change #GeorgeFloyd

Karl Gentles, replying to a request from Blog for Arizona, composed a statement, which relayed:

“I have struggled to find the words this week to express my grief and raging thoughts on the killing of George Floyd and the protests taking place in Minneapolis.”

“George Floyd’s death was shocking. Even more shocking and troubling is the calm by which the officer carried out the violence apparently with the comfort of knowing he could without impunity.”

“George Floyd died in plain sight and for all to see and witness. What is clear is that our nation is in crisis, our government systems are broken and the institutions that are supposed to serve and protect us must be held accountable.”

“I want to channel my anger into action. I plan to direct my disgust into a renewed resolved to end this violence and injustice.”

“My heart breaks for George, his family and friends, and for the people of Minneapolis. I ache for the people around Arizona and the country moved to tears and moved to act by this tragedy.”

“His death came on the heels of another shocking killing of Ahmaud Arbery, killed while jogging, by two people as a third shot video of the entire incident. This is what African Americans, including me, my wife, son, brothers, sisters and friends, live with every day. Incidents of aggression towards African Americans are occurring all over the country every day including here in Phoenix.”

“Yesterday two white young men drove up next to my wife, Carla, while she was jogging in our neighborhood, and yelled the “N” word at her and sped off. She served our country in the military for 29 years defending our freedoms and to have this happen this week. It could happen to any of us.”

“You ask why people protest and why some turn violent. Peaceful protests turning violent are unfortunate and should not happen.”

“However, I understand the expression of a generation of violence against African Americans across this country. It is the voice of the voiceless, the ignored, the marginalized, the forgotten, and the seemingly expendable like in the case of George Floyd. Minnesota happened to be the city but in reality, this could have been any city in the country.”

“Dr. King said, “a riot is the language of the unheard.”

“It’s time to turn the page on this sad chapter.”

“Protests are the fabric of what makes us Americans from the Boston Tea Party, to the Vietnam era to now.”

“I pray George Floyd’s death and the resulting protests will spark dramatic and positive change that strengthens and heals our nation.”

 Two of the Democrats looking to replace Debbie Lesko also, responding to requests from Blog For Arizona, offered their insights.

Michael Muscato wrote:

 “George Floyd.”

 “I encourage each of you to say his name. As you do, I encourage you to consider what his name, his murder, and the resulting demonstrations around our nation represent. Many have said that the demonstrations are no longer about him – my friends, they never were. To think that the level of outrage we are witnessing is about one man and one murder is to deny the daily experience of those who live beyond the confines of our respective realities. For every murder we see, there are countless more that we do not. For every use of excessive force that results in death, there are countless more that leave scars on victims, families, and communities. For every excuse that is used to explain away these horrific scenarios, there are countless Americans for whom they define reality. While I strongly denounce the violence and destruction we are currently witnessing, we can, and must look beyond the reproachable actions of a few. I encourage you to look with compassion at those who attend these demonstrations peacefully, and to vehemently reject the internal and external forces that would tell us otherwise. Some of us will never experience inequality in our daily lives, but its existence is undeniable. Much like the current pandemic, though it may not be as directly threatening to some, it affects us all. This is not their problem, this is our problem.”

 “As members of society, as Americans, we are they and they are we. It is only through empathy, compassion, and unity, that we have, and can convey hope. One of my great hopes for our future is when the word equality is no longer part of the political or social discord; when the idea of inequality is so abstract that it would be difficult to describe to our children. While we are not there, and some days it may seem that we are as far as ever, I refuse to remain indifferent, and will lend my support to our fellow citizens in building a better, more hopeful, unified future for every American.”

 “The same approach will continue to lead to the same result. Instead of our leaders retreating into bunkers and behind protective barricades, they should instead call upon a gathering of civil rights leaders, community activists, governors, mayors, city councils, and law enforcement leaders…. They should lock the door behind them and no one should come out until the words equality and justice are more than just figures of speech.”

 “Please, say it one more time, and consider what you can do to affect the conversation. George Floyd.”

 Bob Musselwhite relayed:

“In a democracy every individual’s life is important.  The values contained in our Declaration of Independence that Washington read to his troops at the beginning of the American Revolution include the idea that all are created equal.”

“Any competent public safety force in this country that has charge of maintaining peace and order knows at the most basic level that the idea is to de-escalate and not to inflame a situation.  This is true even in our schools where teachers and administrators continually have to deal with the management of behavior.  We do not live in a police state.” 

 “Participation in our society is voluntary and depends upon the government upholding its side of the social contract which is to defend the life, liberty and property of every individual.”

“A police officer in a democracy that inflames a situation and those that support that officer in wrongdoing clearly is part of an organizational culture that has become
authoritarian and so an enemy of the ideals of our democracy.  Such officers have no place in the police forces of this nation.”

Candidates for the Maricopa and Pima County Attorney Positions also lent their perspective.

Bob McWhirter, who is a candidate running for Maricopa County Attorney wrote:

“George Floyd was murdered at the hands of men who should have been protecting him from injustice.”

“Though this murder happened far from us, we are not immune to it here in Maricopa County.”

 “We have seen up close those corrosive, evil forces that permit the unequal treatment of our diverse communities and the unequal application of the law across our communities. Still today, as Sheriff Paul Penzone reported, LatinoX and African-American drivers are more likely to be detained and held longer in “incidents” such as traffic stops.”

“As Maricopa County Attorney, I will hold officers who commit these crimes accountable under the severest penalty the law allows.  Our police officers are supposed to be our justice system’s guardians, not its persecutors.  We must promote those who joined our law enforcement ranks to truly protect and serve our communities – and hold them to a highest possible standard.”

“George Floyd will be a symbol and reminder of why justice doesn’t always come from those who hold a badge and gun or wear a robe in a courtroom.  Justice must always be the fair and equitable application of the law for all.  Anything less poisons our democracy.”

Jonathan Mosher, one of the Pima County Attorney Candidates, relayed:

“We are all reeling in anger and despair. Still hurting from Ahmaud Arbery’s murder, we watched in horror as Minneapolis police murdered George Floyd before our eyes.”

“We are fed up with words. It is time for action. To address racism in the criminal justice system, we need excellent prosecutors to take action.”

“Prosecutors charge murderers with murder. Killers should not get a pass just because they are white or because they wear a badge or uniform. Minnesota prosecutors let us down with too little, too late.”

 “George Floyd’s murder is not the 3rd-degree reckless murder prosecutors charged. It is the highest form of murder- first degree. It was premeditated murder to kneel on his neck for 8 minutes- 5 minutes as he begged for air, 3 minutes after George Floyd was unconscious!”

 “Intent, including premeditation, can be inferred from these circumstances. I have made this argument successfully in many first-degree murder trials. I am the only candidate with years of proven experience leading, managing, and training other prosecutors, successfully taking on homicide cases when others thought they were too difficult, and who has also taken a police officer to trial and convicted them of a major felony.”

 “This is why you should demand experience and excellence in your lead prosecutor. If something awful happens here, I won’t be sitting helplessly on the sidelines because I have zero prosecution experience. If an officer commits murder, you have my pledge: I will lead the trial team myself.”

“There are many other actions I will take to address this problem of racism in the criminal justice system. We will stop incarcerating black and brown people disproportionately. We will end the criminalization of poverty…”

Another candidate for Maricopa County Attorney Will Knight also commented:

“With our nation reeling from the senseless murder of George Floyd, yet another innocent, unarmed Black American, I felt a glimmer of hope as I began to witness something unprecedented. The entire country seemed united in revulsion at the brutality that had just shocked our collective conscience. From law enforcement leaders and unions to politicians on both sides of the aisle, it appeared as though the immediate response would be unanimous and unqualified abhorrence. We stood vigil and marched in nationwide solidarity with the Black community, which, as usual, bore the brunt of the trauma and pain.”

“Then the detractors began to equivocate, shattering what could have been a historic moment of patriotic solidarity. As the cries of unfathomable loss fell on increasingly deaf ears, the most marginalized among us once again became the least heard, right when they needed to be heard more than ever.”

“The TV images of a Minneapolis precinct station on fire are a stark reflection of the rift that we have allowed to grow between law enforcement agencies and the communities they are sworn to protect, the communities who need them — all of us — to see and hear their pain. Like the overwhelming majority of protesters who are committed to nonviolent resistance, I regret that the destructive actions of a few will now be used as an excuse to silence dissent in this critical moment. Indeed, here in Arizona, so soon after we winked and nodded at armed protesters defying long-overdue public health orders, some property damage and economic loss at a suburban shopping mall became the occasion to squelch our fundamental freedoms of speech, assembly, and protest under a weeklong curfew — stretching from Yuma to Tuba City — that is far more intrusive on our liberty than the recent COVID-19 measures ever were. El gobernador mata moscas a cañonazos.”

“If we were horrified by the murder of George Floyd but did not condemn all police officers for the acts of the few who killed him, then how can we condemn and silence thousands of peaceful protesters for the acts of a few instigators?”

“If we were frightened by the image of a police car burning in downtown Atlanta, should we not also be horrified by footage of militarized riot squads firing Tasers and rubber bullets at their fellow Americans, arresting reporters for peacefully bearing witness, and violently assaulting civilians as they surrender?”

“If a riot is the language of the unheard, then those who are privileged to have a voice must exercise that privilege by working to repair the divide between the police and the people. The first, necessary step is making law enforcement accountable to the community and chasing out corruption with the disinfectant of transparency.”

“In the coming months, there will be time for substantial discussion about the structural changes we need to combat the systemic racism that got us here. These include community supervision boards, public access to law enforcement data, controlling for implicit bias, and diversifying our police and prosecution agencies with the voices of Black and brown people and those directly impacted by our broken justice system.”

“But today, we raise our voices in solidarity to call for change.”

The words expressed by everyone cited in this article truly cover everything.

Cartoon from Steve Benson, Arizona Mirror

What happened to George Floyd is murder plain and simple.

All four police officers, who are insults to the great majority of law enforcement personnel who do protect all the people, need to be held to account for what they did.

The people have a right to protest this continued racial injustice towards minorities and the poor in this country.

Journalists have a right to cover real-time events without getting shot at, beat, or arrested by either protestors or law enforcement officials.

Property owners and innocent bystanders should not become victims of extremist violence (including those from white supremacists looking to make the situation worse) and looting.

Those who perpetrate such violence while the great majority peacefully protest to get rid of racial injustice have no place in the civil discourse and should be arrested and shunned.

While this country has made great strides in the last 50 to 60 years in Civil Rights but there is still a long road to go to complete the progress and create a truly all-inclusive and equal society where a person’s race, religion, or sexual orientation does not matter.

By working together, we will get there.