My heart breaks for the family of George Floyd and all communities of color throughout the country. There is absolutely no excuse for the behavior of former officer Derek Chauvin and the three other officers that stood by and watched him suffocate Mr. Floyd.

This killing in Minneapolis was caught on camera and brought into the homes of every American, but unfortunately acts like this occur all too regularly in communities of color throughout the country. I have supported our local and State Police for my entire career and I know that their jobs are incredibly difficult. I have represented a community of color for 11 years and I know the pain and humiliation of indirect and direct discrimination that takes place every day.

We must eliminate the disproportionate impact of the law and law enforcement on people of color. This is why I introduced bills to legalize cannabis, decriminalize marijuana, and expunge the records of people with marijuana crimes. I also sponsored the independent prosecutor law that requires any police-involved killing to be investigated by the State Attorney General.”           

Just as important, we need to continue supporting our police officers. They put their lives on the line every day and their families never know if tonight will be the night they don’t come home. There will always be bad actors in a group and we should not paint every officer as one of them. We cannot make blanket claims of blame on all police officers or entire communities – instead we need to continue to talk to each other, hold each other accountable, and build relationships and trust between us so that we can heal the wounds that are so prevalent amongst us.