West Virginia politicians, organizations release statements in response to death of George Floyd

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Multiple West Virginia politicians, leaders, organizations and institutions have released statements regarding the death of George Floyd and racial discrimination in the U.S.

U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the following statement on Monday:

“My heart aches. Far too many African American men and women have been wrongfully killed, and those responsible have not been held accountable. The tragic death of George Floyd has evoked collective outrage and pain. I thank my fellow West Virginians for taking social justice action in communities across West Virginia and ensuring their voices are heard on these tragedies. One thing is clear: What we have done in the past is not enough. Our country must address systemic injustices and do the hard work required to move forward. Transformative change is possible but it requires collective action. Nearly 53 years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. said that social rallies such as these were the language of the unheard. I urge lawmakers on the local, state, and national level to hear the cries of their constituents and take meaningful action to end these injustices. I am listening.” 

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV)

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito released the following statement on social media on Monday:

“Racial discrimination has absolutely no place in this country. The senseless murder of George Floyd is unacceptable and those responsible should be held accountable. We need to do our part to change these attitudes that exist today, but at the same time, we need to do this in a peaceful way. Looting and violent riots are not the way to do this and it is not a way to honor George Floyd or those that are peacefully protesting. I urge West Virginians to do as we have done before during difficult times and come together, listen to each other, and learn from one another.”

Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)

Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling – Charleston, Reverend Mark E. Brennan released the following statement on Monday:

The killing of George Floyd was an egregious act of violence with no justification whatsoever, all the worse for having been perpetrated by some police officers who are sworn to serve and protect their fellow citizens.

Most law enforcement officials are decent men and women who train hard to restrain any violent impulses and to be respectful as they deal with the public. Mr. Floyd did not meet that kind of police officer the day he was killed.

I join other Americans in prayer for Mr. Floyd, his family and friends and for the
African American community of Minneapolis and throughout our country. Every human
being is made in God’s image and likeness and deserves respect and fair treatment.

The protests taking place in many US cities reflect the anger and frustration of millions of
Americans who, to this day, experience racism in their daily lives. If I find abhorrent the
resurgence of the ugly language, violence and racial discrimination I witnessed as a child,
with how much more right do African Americans react against it!

We American bishops addressed the issue of enduring racism in our society in our Pastoral Letter, Open Wide Our Hearts, in November, 2018. I urge you to read it.

The justified protests currently underway must not be tainted by those who wish to
spread violence or ruin the livelihoods of their neighbors. Such acts do not advance the cause
of racial equality and respect for the human dignity of all. Pope St. Paul VI said, “If you
want peace, work for justice.” Injuries to persons and destruction of property are not the
work of justice and will not bring peace.

Let us honor George Floyd and others who have died in similar incidents by working
for true justice and an America in which, as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, a person is
“judged not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character.”

Reverend Mark E. Brennan

Monongalia County Delegates Barbara Fleischauer, Evan Hansen, Rodney Pyles, Danielle Walker and John Williams released the following statement Monday:

We mourn the death of George Floyd. When innocent Black men and women continue to be killed by police officers, we feel the need to speak out, even if these events are happening in other states.

We speak out because people of color in our state and across the country continue to be subject to racism—sometimes overt, sometimes institutional. We find it particularly troubling when leaders at any level of government condone these actions or encourage them by their statements or tweets.

Our hearts are full of pain for the Floyd family and everyone who has been subject to racism, discrimination, and hate. West Virginians are loving and accepting people. We’ll continue to speak out and advocate for policies that welcome and encourage diversity, fairness, and inclusion in West Virginia.

Delegates Barbara Fleischauer, Evan Hansen, Rodney Pyles, Danielle Walker and John Williams.

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