CLAYTON, MO (STL.News) St. Louis County Chairwoman Statement:

“I am heartbroken and outraged over the senseless murder of George Floyd, who died at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer earlier this week.  I see the pain and deep trauma that this cold-blooded event has brought, especially to my black and brown neighbors, dear friends, and colleagues of all ages.  While one of the most egregious in recent memory, this act is the latest of 400 years’ worth of patterns of the dehumanization of black and brown bodies that have happened on this land and in every nook and cranny of our community, including right here in the St. Louis region.

Today and over the coming days, people will take to the streets here in St. Louis to exercise their right to peacefully assemble and to demand accountability from institutions like police departments and government bodies.  I support my neighbors in exercising these rights and I join with them in their calls for equity and justice.  I urge law enforcement officials and other leaders to listen and to focus on de-escalation techniques to keep everyone safe during this time.

As a government official, policymaker, and Mom of a white son, I know I have a duty, responsibility, and moral obligation to act.  One action is the talk that I need to have with my son this weekend; I know it is very different than the talks that black moms have with their own sons every day.  I also know that my actions, at home and elsewhere, must be paired with deep listening, learning, and direction from those whose life experiences have been vastly different than my own.

The Ferguson Commission report should continue to be a resource for all of us in St. Louis as we seek to build a community in which we can all live our best lives.  It documents the results of hundreds of hours of community listening sessions, combined with history and calls to action, many of which have yet to be acted upon.  I urge my colleagues in County government and beyond to join me in re-focusing on this important body of work. “


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