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Yonkers Human Rights Exec. Director Stands With George Floyd

Statement by Mark Fang, the Executive Director of the Office of the City of Yonkers Commission on Human Rights

Statement by Mark Fang, the Executive Director of the Office of the City of Yonkers Commission on Human Rights, and Theresa Bowman Smith, on the May 25th death of George Floyd in Minneapolis:

The horrific killing of George Floyd on May 25th by Minneapolis police officers will be remembered as one of the most abominable acts of racism by law enforcement in our nation’s history.  It is truly anguishing to watch this officer smugly dig his knee into Floyd’s neck as he desperately called out: “I can’t breathe…mama.”  After eight minutes and forty-six seconds, his body laid lifeless at the wheel of the police vehicle as the officer pressed the weight of his body into Floyd’s neck, while two officers held his back and legs and another stood by and watched.  Most police officers are truly the finest amongst us and we should be grateful that they are willing to risk their lives for us, every day, on the thin blue line.  But not these officers. 

Beyond what is reflected in the state charges filed by the Hennepin County Attorney, Floyd’s death not only violated his constitutional and civil rights, even further, this act was a racial atrocity, committed under the color of law, against us all.  There can, therefore, be only one course of action—as hard and difficult as it may be—that will stand true to this nation’s over fifty-year commitment and struggle for civil rights and racial justice for all: these officers must be brought to justice under our strongest federal civil rights laws.  

In the meantime, we must have the confidence and patience that our criminal justice system will bring these officers to justice.  We should express our resolve and firm conviction that justice will prevail, and yes, protest, but do so peacefully, never with violence, which will undermine the pursuit of justice and the important civil rights and human rights legacy that this case can become.  

But beyond justice, we must learn in America to understand each other, to look beyond differences in skin color, to reach across and make the effort in our regular lives to truly get to know and appreciate each other, to rip away the veil that separates us, to not fall back into a cynical separation, but to find community and experience our moment in America together.  Let’s not let this opportunity pass to bring our nation to a better place, a place of love, dignity, respectfulness, and appreciation for one another no matter our race and color of our skin.” 

Mark Fang is the Executive Director of the Office of the City of Yonkers Commission on Human Rights and a Lieutenant Colonel in the Judge Advocate General Corps of the United States Army Reserves.  Theresa Bowman Smith is the vice chair of the City of Yonkers Commission on Human Rights.  

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About Damon K. Jones (226 Articles)
Damon K. Jones is an Activist, Author, and Publisher of Black Westchester Magazine, a Black-owned and operated newspaper based in Westchester County, New York. Mr. Jones is a Holistic Health Practitioner, First Aid in Mental Health Practioner, Diet, and Nutrition Advisor, and Vegan, Vegetarian Nutrition Life Coach. Mr. Jones is a 31 year Law Enforcement Practioner, New York Representative of Blacks in Law Enforcement of America. Mr. Jones has been a guest commentator on New York radio stations WBLS (107.5 FM), WLIB (1190 am), WRKS (98.7 FM), WBAI (99.5 FM), and Westchester's WVOX (1460 am). Mr. Jones has appeared on local television broadcasts, including Westchester News 12 “News Makers” and Public Television “Winbrook Pride. You can now hear Damon every Wednesday at 830 AM on WFAS 1230 AM, Morning with Bob Marone Show.
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