Below is the full text of a press release issued by the City of Flint following a protest at City Hall Tuesday afternoon. Mayor Sheldon Neeley announced several of these actions during his remarks to the assembled peaceful group:
Mayor Sheldon Neeley today announced a series of actions being taken by the City of Flint in response to the death of George Floyd. Upon speaking to multiple community members and listening to the crowds of peaceful protesters that have filled Flint streets, Mayor Neely worked with legal staff, the Flint Police Department, and members of the Flint City Council to develop a series of key initiatives.
— Mayor Neeley began forming a Coalition of Black Mayors to address issues of systemic racism on a statewide level.
— Chief Phil Hart is instituting Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation training for the Flint Police Department.
— Flint City Council will consider a resolution to denounce the use of illegal restraint methods and create a zero tolerance policy for their use.
— Flint City Council will consider a resolution to declare racism a public health Crisis.
— The City of Flint will draft a new ordinance forbidding bias crime reporting to make it illegal for anyone to report a “crime” because the color of someone’s skin made them nervous.
— Mayor Sheldon Neeley is creating a Black Lives Matter Advisory Council to the Flint Police Department to ensure those working to address the issues of police brutality have a seat at the table.
“We all witnessed in the death of George Floyd a horrible reminder that we have much more work to do in this country. It is incumbent on all of us to do more and push harder for racial justice,” Mayor Neeley said. “Make no mistake about it: The arc of the moral universe bends toward justice because of the pressure we put upon it. I am proud to join in Flint’s peaceful protests and to continue working every day for unity in our community.” *
* Note: Mayor Neeley is making reference to the quote by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice”
Banner photo of Monday’s protest by Paul Rozycki