There is no place for violence or racial disparity in our world. Tonight, we stand with the African-American community and the family of George Floyd to express our outrage at yet another senseless murder of a Black man.
This list appears to be endless: George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many more going back over the years. Each person was someone’s son, daughter, father, mother, brother, or sister who was ultimately deprived of their civil rights, human rights, and ultimately their lives all because they were born Black. We witnessed this murder in broad daylight and can only pray that the four officers involved are brought to speedy justice.
Society must make a statement that the use of excessive force is unconscionable and inhumane. I cannot pretend to understand what obstacles a person of color faces growing up in America. But I do know that growing up I remember studying the Hough riots in the mid-’60s. In the 50 years since then, I have tried to understand how this insidious problem of discrimination continues to be ignored in our country.
As a mayor, an attorney, and a citizen of this world, I believe in the human rights that we all inherently share. I also believe in our Beachwood Police Department and the training they receive. We have set high standards and I routinely hear praise from those they assist. They receive diversity training and de-escalation training.
I once received an email from a person of color in Pittsburgh who told me a story of how he got lost looking for a friend’s house and accidentally missed a stop sign. When asked where he was going, the officer warned him about the stop sign and the gentleman explained where he was going, but he did not know the street and the officer guided him to the address. He wrote to me as mayor and said in another city that experience could have ended differently and he wanted to express his appreciation to this officer for his courtesy.
I am just a mayor. I have made some positive changes, but I do not have all the answers. But I know we can always do better and we can always learn from each other’s experiences. I am always available to discuss a problem with a resident, but I would like to do more. I would like to establish a online town hall and invite our community to share their ideas, complaints, concerns, thoughts, and anything else that will make us a more compassionate and respectful city. Please watch our website and social media for information about the date and time.