CLEVELAND (WJW) — Cleveland City Council has unanimously approved an emergency resolution that declares racism a public health crisis.
During a virtual council meeting on zoom, sponsors of the resolution said the city needs to examine the root causes of racism and study ways to promote racial equity in Cleveland.
Council members have been discussing the issue since March and they say the riot that erupted on Saturday in the midst of the protest over the death of George Floyd illustrates why systematic change is needed.
“One of the most tragic things this city has ever seen in our history, a day that we will never forget, as well as all of the other issues that triggered that response,” Councilman Blaine Griffin. “It’s not just the justice system, it’s not just law enforcement.”
In a show of unity, all 17 members of city council co-sponsored the resolution.
Protests in Cleveland Saturday night left some downtown businesses in shambles, and a curfew continues to be in effect in that area and around W. 25th.
The curfew is set to expire June 5. City leaders are reviewing whether to put a new curfew in place for the weekend.
You can read the Proclamation of Civil Emergency here.
Since last week, protests have ignited around the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death. While many have remained peaceful, and have included police and protesters talking together, others have turned destructive.
Floyd died Monday, May 25, when an officer kneeled on his neck for more than 8 minutes.
The officer has been arrested. The three other officers at the scene — Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao — were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. All four were fired last week.
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