Durham Mayor Steve Schewel and Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin were two of more than 70 mayors across the state who voiced dismay at Floyd's death and vowed to fight systemic racism within police forces and their cities. The mayors extended support to Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey.
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"As a society, we cannot tolerate this kind of police violence rooted in systemic racism," part of the statement reads. "As mayors, we work closely with the police leadership in our cities, and we know that they also will not tolerate this kind of police violence and racism within their forces."
Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger, Cary Mayor Harold Weinbrecht, Clayton Mayor Jody L. McLeod, Wendell Mayor Virginia Gray, and Garner Mayor Ken Mashburn were among others signing the pact.
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The statement in its entirety is below:
As mayors of cities in North Carolina, we have come together to express our abhorrence of the horrific murder of George Floyd, an act of unspeakable violence, cold inhumanity and racism. The photographic evidence of this act speaks for itself. Mr. Floyd was suffocated to death by a Minneapolis police officer while pleading for his life as three other officers knelt or stood by and did nothing to help him, even as he called out, "I can't breathe." As a society, we cannot tolerate this kind of police violence rooted in systemic racism. As mayors, we work closely with the police leadership in our cities, and we know that they also will not tolerate this kind of police violence and racism within their forces. Such acts not only harm innocent people, but they also deeply erode trust in our police forces, despite the good work of so many officers every day-officers who themselves abhor the racism and violence so evident in the death of George Floyd. Our hearts go out to Mr. Floyd and his family. We support Mayor Jacob Frey of Minneapolis in his call for justice and accountability. We expect a full and fair trial of the police officers involved. We also support the rights of those who are peacefully protesting and honoring the memory of George Floyd and countless others that have been victims of systemic racism and police violence. Let's work together to ensure that protests remain peaceful and stay focused on building equitable and just cities for all in North Carolina. And we pledge to make every effort within our power to fight systemic racism within our police forces, cities and this nation.