Statement on the Death of George Floyd and LA’s Response

“To the families of George, Ahmaud, Breonna, and to all who have lost loved ones through the violence targeting African Americans, stay strong. As the father of two young black men, I can only imagine what you’re going through.

“The epidemic of police shootings of unarmed African Americans is an unrelenting outrage, and people of every hue have every right to the anger and pain felt so deeply right now. Such lawless acts of state violence, witnessed this week, should never be normalized. We cannot and will not accept this injustice.

“Reform of police misconduct has animated my career of public service for more than three decades. It is why we birthed the “Days of Dialogue” against a backdrop of Los Angeles becoming a racial sinkhole after the Rodney King and O.J. Simpson verdicts in the early 90’s. In other words, dialogue across communities demonstrated a radical act of civility. It is why we launched “Suits in Solidarity” more than a half-decade ago, to stand with the un-armed victims of violence prompted by the murder of Trayvon Martin. In other words, solidarity is a matter of conscious resistance coupled with compassion.

“No one is above the law — especially our law enforcement officers — who take an oath of duty and should be held to the highest moral standards. The video that we saw this week out of Minneapolis makes clear that all four officers, not just one, should, at the very least, be arrested and tried in a court of law. That won’t bring back George Floyd, but for all of us who value life and who stand for justice, we must also stand for truth and peace.”

Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas joined more than 50 African American men dressed in suits and ties in a silent vigil to acknowledge the deaths of unarmed black men in 2015.