As the elected officials of an American city, my fellow New Albany City Councilmembers and I were horrified and appalled at the brutal killing of George Floyd, at the hands of a City of Minneapolis police officer. Everyone needs to be compassionate, listen and seek to understand the pain these images and sickening acts bring to Mr. Floyd’s family, his community, and all African Americans. Police brutality is never acceptable. Those responsible must be brought to justice, and firing the officers involved and bringing swift criminal charges was the right thing to do.
People peacefully protesting this injustice and marching for a better future deserve to be heard. At the same time, we are troubled by the scenes of violence including looting and rioting, which distract from the important message of the protesters. City leaders must enforce the law to protect our residents and their property, while balancing the right of our citizens to safely gather and protest.
We are proud of the work our New Albany police officers do. While every organization can always do better, our officers care about our community and everyone in it – people of all races, religions, and backgrounds. New Albany is a welcoming community and we ask all our residents to continue taking positive action to make it a better place to live, work and visit.
I invite citizens who want to share their perspective on these issues to attend a future council meeting.