Updated: Jul 22
Evanstonians respond to the recent murders of George Floyd, Briona Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, and the false report Amy Cooper made to police about bird-watcher Christian Cooper
The following was posted yesterday by Cicely L. Fleming, 9th Ward Alderwoman. It's the only statement I've seen so far from an elected official in Evanston.
I have a request in to Mayor Hagerty and EPD Chief Demitrous Cook, but neither has responded as yet.
"As an elected official I have the great responsibility to ensure that residents are safe, respected, and valued in our community. I also have the responsibility to ensure that our staff are safe, respected, and paid fairly.
Sometimes these two responsibilities come into conflict, both parties expect me to advocate on their behalf. I will always stand with residents but advocate for what is right.
The death of Mr. Floyd in Minneapolis and the protests that followed are a continuation of years of oppression, abuse, and violence in the Black community as the result (and at the approval) of elected officials.
Police act in accordance with the rules (or lack of rules) they are being allowed to follow. Police are staff, they are to be held accountable for actions big and small; all staff are.
I would love to say that an event this egregious would never happen in Evanston but the truth is, every city is one step from a riot.
I will always continue to hold our police to the highest standards when it comes to citizen engagement. I will continue question every citizen complaint and watch every video.
I am very aware of a video circulating right now and very concerned about the visual and potential aftermath.
Just as you should hold me accountable, I will hold others accountable. I will not always win, but I will alway speak up.
If I don't, I do not deserve to hold my seat.
I hope that Mr. Floyd's family receives justice. I hope that time will bring healing to their hearts. I hope that Minneapolis will be able to recover. I hope that Evanston never allows our citizens to reach this level of rage that comes from being ignored, abused, neglected, and oppressed.
Take care of yourselves today community."