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Michigan Civil Rights Commission Issues Statement on Killing of George Floyd and Protests Against Police Brutality

June 3, 2020

LANSING, MI--Stacie Clayton, Chair of the Michigan Civil Rights Commission, today issued the following statement on the killing of George Floyd and protests against police brutality taking place in cities throughout Michigan and the nation.

“Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ‘For evil to succeed, all it needs is for good men to do nothing.’ The Michigan Civil Rights Commission stands with the many good men and women in cities such as Detroit, Flint, Eastpointe, Warren and Grand Rapids who are doing something by engaging in peaceful protests against police brutality and the outright murder of George Floyd. The loud and overt objection of diverse groups of citizens to prejudiced behavior and cowardice is the action needed to dismantle the ingrained, implicit, and often explicit, racial bias that is at the heart of the killings of Mr. Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and far too many others.”

“Hundreds of thousands of people across the country are taking to the streets, seeking to change the culture that tacitly allows the killing of unarmed African Americans. These protests are occurring because African American citizens are being killed because of the color of their skin, instead of receiving the fair treatment that other races enjoy. Not only must we demonstrate in the streets, we must demonstrate better respect for life. We must demonstrate in places such as courtrooms by serving on juries to fulfill our civic duty. We must demonstrate at the polls by exercising our right to vote. These are the actions needed to redress institutionalized racism, eradicate systemic disparities and provide for better treatment of people of color.”

“So, let us not be distracted by the ignorant violence of outside agitators seeking to infiltrate a righteous cause for their own agenda. Let us grasp the opportunity of having a national spotlight on racially motivated killings and bringing to the forefront the images of Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin and others. In a collective voice let us say, ‘We see you still and will never forget you.’ I pray that the fight to end inequity and discrimination based on a person’s religion, race, color, sex, age or national origin continues long after the last protest has ended.”

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission was created by the Michigan Constitution to safeguard constitutional and legal guarantees against discrimination. The Commission is charged with investigating alleged discrimination against any person because of religion, race, color or national origin, genetic information, sex, age, marital status, height, weight, arrest record, and physical and mental disability. The Michigan Department of Civil Rights serves as the operational arm of the Commission.

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