“It’s a bold wake-up call that we haven’t made the progress we think we’ve made.”
TALEDA, Ohio – Two years ago, on March 25, George Floyd was killed Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin.
Black Lives Matter activists here in Toledo are thinking about this and what – if anything – has changed.
Local activists say Floyd’s death was a harsh reality of black life here in America.
They say there was a movement here, but they say huge progress still needs to be made when it comes to police brutality and racism.
Julian Mack says the day of George Floyd’s death is forever etched in his mind.
“The scream, the look in George Floyd’s eyes, the complacency of the cop and the repeated words“ I can’t breathe, ”said Mack, who is the company’s spokesman. Toledo Solidarity Community Response Network.
A few days after Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, he and hundreds of others protested in Toledo.
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“It was a devastating event. In fact, even looking at it hurt that one person could do it with another person. But if it’s law enforcement, it only got worse,” Otis Gordon said. who is the senior pastor in Warren Church AME.
“It’s a bold wake-up call that we haven’t made the progress we think we’ve made. And it’s not just the systemic level that exists,” Mack said.
Two years later, and Mack believes some changes have been made, but he says that’s not enough.
“It was not the death of George Floyd that made government officials listen. They were threatened with damage to property,” Mack said. “Some of my worst fears have come true, and the fact that we’re back to that status quo.”
Gordon also says he is also concerned about crimes taking place in the black community here.
“Here we are at a time when violence is spiraling out of control, and at the same time we are reflecting on what happened to George Floyd,” Gordon said.
He says it is a difficult task for the police and society, but it needs to be done.
“I think every police department should do some kind of mental search,” Gordon said. “Ask yourself” what can we do better? How can we better serve and protect our citizens in whom we are hired for service? ”
Mack says he hopes for change and wants all people to continue learning from this event, which is two years old.
PHOTO | Protest in central Toledo demanding racial justice
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