George Floyd was killed by a police officer, an outcome that almost certainly would not have happened were he white. It’s an American tragedy. I’m disgusted and heartbroken.
In Auburn this weekend, demonstrators exercised their constitutional right to protest and advocate for justice. Their actions were not met by hostility from law enforcement. They were met with compassion. Both Chief Butler and Sheriff Schenck took a knee with protesters in solidarity with their stated mission- to disavow racism, to demand that policymakers tackle inequity head on, and to mourn.
Chief Butler and Sheriff Schenck were able to stand with protesters because of their deep commitment to our community. They have credibility because they have promoted transparency and built trust. That is what real strength is. That’s what real leadership is.
That the demonstration ended at the Equal Rights Heritage Center is a poetic bright spot in the midst of some of the darkest days in our nation’s recent history.
These are extraordinarily difficult times, but as Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “There can be no deep disappointment where there is not deep love.” We are hurting because we love this country. We need to bring it together before we tear ourselves apart. I’m proud to live in a community with principled, active advocates and dynamic leaders in law enforcement who are showing that it’s possible to come together if you’re willing to do the work. The work is called citizenship.
Assemblyman Gary Finch represents the state's 126th Assembly District.
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