Missouri’s senior Democrat on Capitol Hill is condemning the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, saying that systematic racism and excessive force led to Floyd’s death.
U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, spoke Saturday at an Urban League food distribution event in Florissant, which is a north St. Louis County suburb.
“That video doesn’t lie, and the whole world is watching,” Clay tells the audience. “George Floyd was not resisting arrest, he was resisting strangulation.”
Former officer Derek Chauvin is charged in Minnesota with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Congressman Clay is calling on the other three officers and a medic to be charged as accessories.
“The medic who made no effort to save his (Floyd’s) life,” says Clay.
Congressman Clay, a senior member of the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee, is calling on the Justice Department to investigate the Minneapolis Police Department. He wants to see a sweeping consent decree, similar to what happened in Ferguson.
“Unless white America finally sees us and respects us and is willing to mutually recognize our humanity as black people, as much as their own, our country will never heal,” Clay says.
He says the Ferguson consent decree has “totally transformed the local government and the police department” there.
Congressman Clay is extending his condolences to George Floyd’s family.
“It’s clear that he was a beloved man who lived his life for others,” says Clay.
During his remarks at the former Jamestown Mall site, Congressman Clay also spoke directly to what he describes as “my white allies in the progressive movement, who regularly expect black leaders to stand with you to advance your core agenda.”
“Will you stand with us now, will you make a difference in this country and face this evil in its entirety?”, Clay asks.
Florissant is near Ferguson, which was the site of the Michael Brown incident in August 2014.
Brown’s father, Michael Brown Sr., traveled to Minnesota this weekend to show support for the community there. He tells our sister network, the Minnesota News Network, that what’s happening in Minneapolis reminds him of what happened to his son.
18-year-old Michael Brown was fatally shot during a confrontation with then-Ferguson officer Darren Wilson. The Obama Justice Department cleared the officer of criminal wrongdoing, and a St. Louis County grand jury declined to indict him.
Meantime, things turned violent this weekend in Ferguson. The “St. Louis Post-Dispatch” reports protesters launched fireworks at officers, smashed windows to Ferguson police headquarters and looted a beauty supply store.
The “Post” reports police deployed tear gas, in response.
Across the state in Kansas City, the Kansas City Police Department says it made 85 arrests Saturday night, after significant damage to businesses on the Plaza.
“Nearly all officers hit with frozen water bottles or rocks. Two officers hospitalized from being struck, one with an injury to the temple and one with a lacerated liver,” Kansas City Police tweeted Sunday.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson (R) has activated the Missouri National Guard, and has signed an executive order declaring that a state of emergency exists in Missouri, due to civil unrest.
The governor says citizens have the right to peacefully assemble and to protest.
“Violence and destruction are not the answers. I support those who are calling for justice and peace. However, a small element has seized on these peaceful demonstrations to commit violent acts that endanger the lives of citizens and bring destruction to our communities,” Governor Parson said in a written statement Saturday night.
Click here to listen to the full five-minute speech from U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay, D-St. Louis, which took place on May 30, 2020 at Jamestown Mall in Florissant. The audio is courtesy of Congressman Clay’s Facebook page:
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