This week, High Point Mayor Jay Wagner and the rest of the High Point City Council released a statement on the death of George Floyd and the protests that followed.
In High Point, as elsewhere in the country, there have been protests over the treatment of Floyd, a black man who died under the knee of a white Minneapolis police officer.
The statement from the council begins with a citation of a Bible verse from the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.”
In the Monday, June 1 statement, the mayor and the councilmembers call the treatment of Floyd “a blatant act of injustice in the death of an unarmed and non-violent man …while in police custody,” and also notes that this wasn’t an isolated incident, but instead “is another in a long history of acts of violence, injustice, inhumanity and racism in our society.”
The joint statement then goes on to discourage the kind of violent behavior that some have engaged in after seeing the footage of the disturbing incident.
“It is understandable that all people possessing love, compassion, fairness and a sense of justice in their hearts and minds are rightfully disgusted, angered, and even vengeful as a result of this despicable act,” the statement reads. “Many are also tempted to blame all police, which undermines trust in those who risk their lives every day for our protection and who equally condemn this act of brutality and stand together with us in seeking peace and justice.”
It then notes that the City of High Point respects the rights of people to gather and protest peacefully – but not to be violent and destructive.
It adds that “acts of violence, lawlessness, and destruction of property dishonor the memory of George Floyd, destroy the message being rightfully conveyed and must be equally condemned and punished. Violence against the innocent is not a remedy for injustice. Our city will not tolerate, will do all it can to prevent and will punish with all the power at its disposal acts of violence of this nature.”
The statement encourages High Point citizens to respond in the proper way and it reminds people that the character of a city, state or nation, becomes most apparent in times of crisis.
The City Council’s statement concludes: “It is during times like these that we are reminded that we still have much ground to travel, but we must be steadfast and dedicate ourselves to that end.”