FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Fresno Mayor Lee Brand called the death of George Floyd at the hand of a white Minneapolis police officer “senseless and unjustifiable” in a statement released Saturday and called on the community to “join together and unite against injustice.”
Floyd, a handcuffed black man, died Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes and ignored his “I can’t breathe” pleas.
The mayor condemned the actions and the inactions of the officers who caused his death and didn’t stop it.
Brand’s statement follow’s Fresno Police Chief Andy Hall’s statement, which was released Thursday amid reactions by other Valley police chiefs, as protests and unrest continue nationwide.
“The death of yet another African-American man at the hands of people sworn to protect him is one more example of the deep wound in our nation that continues to weep in spite of our sincere attempts to bring healing and understanding to this problem,” Brand said.
Brand’s statement then addressed the nation’s varied reactions to Floyd’s death:
Instead of choosing to let this latest outrage deepen the racial, political and economic divides in our country during this most challenging time, I call on our community to join together to unite against injustice. It is natural to feel pain, anger, bitterness and frustration. Every community, including Fresno, should express those strong emotions and demand that we all do better, and I support the right to come together as one voice to march and demonstrate and pray for justice, just as our community did last night, in peaceful and respectful ways.
But we can’t let this simply fade away. Let us join together and focus on supporting what is objectively right and denouncing what is objectively wrong, whether it is racism or intimidation in any form. Let us keep the conversation going in the weeks and months ahead because Fresno has an amazing history of uniting to care and connect with each other during the worst of times. My hope is that this injustice will strengthen our resolve to end these kinds of senseless tragedies once and for all.Fresno Mayor Lee Brand
The Associated Press contributed to this report