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King County Councilmember Joe McDermott

George Floyd

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Today is the first time the King County Council has gathered since George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis, and the subsequent mass protest movement both here in our community and across the country. I wanted to share with you my opening remarks during today’s meeting of our Committee of the Whole:

“Before we proceed with the agenda, I would like to make a point of personal privilege.

The Council meets weekly since the Emergency Declaration was made.

A week ago last night, George Floyd was murdered by police officers in Minneapolis. Mr. Floyd, an African American man, was handcuffed and face down on the ground as an officer knelt on his neck for over 8 minutes pleading to breath. Other officers were present as well. Watching the video makes me ill.

The horrible truth is that this is one of many incidents of brutality and murder of African Americans in our country. King County is not immune from this.

Charleena Lyles. MiChance Dunlap-Gittens.

And indigenous and other people of color have similar experiences.

Renee Davis. Tommy Le.

The last week has witnessed impassioned and emotional protests of police brutality against African Americans and other people of color, and of racial oppression in America.

Even when these protests make me uncomfortable, I must recognize that they are in response not only to an unjust murder last week, but of over 400 years of systemic oppression of African Americans, and indigenous people and people of color.

The injustice that occurs today – in systemic and personal ways – needs to make me just as uncomfortable – in fact to the point of taking action.”

So those are my words, and my feelings, as we move forward. Here are some actions I humbly share…

As a white person in this country and community, I must continue to do personal work to understand and dismantle systemic racism. Friends and colleagues have generously pointed me to this resource which I hope will help you, or those you know, as it is helping me.

75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice by Corrine Shutack

The Obama Foundation has developed a resource for individuals looking to take action right now supporting individuals and organizations working on the front lines of the protests going on right now as well as systemic change in our country.

Anguish and Action – The Obama Foundation

Hold us accountable to our work at the King County Council to build a local government with equity as its core mission. Engage with us, follow our work and make your voice heard. Our contact information, links to watch our meetings and more can be found at our website.

King County Council – KingCounty.gov

Thank you, stay safe and stay healthy.


Joe McDermott
King County Councilmember


Email: joe.mcdermott@kingcounty.gov
Phone: 206-477-1008
Website: https://www.kingcounty.gov/mcdermott

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