The Medford City Council condemns the actions of the Minneapolis Police officers involved in the horrific and senseless murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020.
Our hearts are heavy with grief and we extend our deepest condolences to Mr. Floyd’s family and loved ones, as well as to the individuals throughout our community and country who have been so deeply affected by the events that led to his death and others.
This event and its aftermath, as demonstrated by protests and demonstrations across the nation, cause us to consider the difficult realities we face as we strive to break down racial inequities and economic division in the United States.
We stand in solidarity with those who hold the values of equality and compassion in high regard, and we recognize this moment as a critical time for reflection and discourse about how to further promote these values.
In the last week we have witnessed many peaceful protests and demonstrations, which we celebrate as an exercise of our freedom of speech, expression, and assembly.
We have also seen peaceful protests give way to angry outbursts of violence and destruction. The hurt, fear, and outrage that provokes these demonstrations is understandable, but answering acts of violence with more violence will only serve to create more hurt, division, and suffering.
We are grateful to our Police Department and Police Chief Clauson for the respect and professional decorum with which they carry out their work of protecting our city. The kind of inhumane behavior demonstrated by Mr. Floyd’s assailants has no place in any police department, and will not be tolerated under any circumstances in the City of Medford.
We believe in the power of our community to come together peacefully, break through walls of division and discord, and unite around the common enemies of inequity, racial discrimination, and police violence.
Our hearts go out to the many affected by violent protests around the country, being mindful that the damage is symptomatic of a multi-generational wound that can only be healed through respectful discourse, acts of compassion, and a conscious decision to hold ourselves to the values we demand of those in positions of authority.
Gary H. Wheeler