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Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson’s Statement on the Death of George Floyd
By Sentinel News Service
Published June 4, 2020

Caption: People kneel during a protest over the death of George Floyd, Monday, June 1, 2020, at Los Angeles City Hall. Protests were held in U.S. cities over the death of Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (Kirby Lee via AP)

Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson) released the following statement on the recent murder of George Floyd: 

As a Black man who watched the George Floyd take his last breath while the 200 lb. weight of a police officer was leveraged on his neck for 8 minutes, I was overwhelmed with pain and anger. George repeatedly pleaded that he could not breathe as two other officers held him down in that fatal position. Another Minneapolis officer watched as his body succumbed to the attack and went limp. 

As a former police officer, I adamantly denounce the actions of these four murderers. Each of them should have been immediately fired, arrested and charged with murder. People are not in the streets because they are criminals; people are in the streets because criminals who were sworn to protect the public, executed a man in broad daylight with no real consequence 

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 As a legislator and elected official, we have to do better. We have to hold those in authority accountable. Last year, I co-authored AB 392 with Assemblymember Shirley Weber that mandated restrictions on the use of lethal force. We need more. 

As a father, I don’t know what more I can tell my sons and grandchildren to protect them. I want to give them tools to fight this racism. Although the solutions escape me, I am willing to continue to fight, work for justice and against what Dr. King described as the appalling silence of good people.’  

As a community member, we have to plan, strategize and protect our message. We cannot let others hijack our peaceful demonstrations – instigators, provocateurs, White Supremacists and those with their own agendas. It’s up to us to control the protests. Yesterday, in Santa Monica, brave young Black men and community residents blocked the entrances of stores against looters. They held signs and told crowds ‘this is not our message.’ It was exactly the right action. 

My family and I will continue to pray for the Floyd family and all of the other families who have lost loved ones to criminal police actions. The pain is real and palpable. Justice must prevail. 

Born and raised in Watts, Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson served as councilmember for the City of Carson for nearly a decade before transitioning to the California State Assembly. Asm.Gipson currently serves as Assembly Democratic Caucus Chair, responsible for driving the legislative decision making process for the majority caucus, address statewide issues, and hold weekly meetings to discuss and set the caucus’ priorities.   

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Categories: Op-Ed | Opinion | Political
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