Provided by Prince William County
Curtis Porter, Chair of the Prince William Human Rights Commission issued the following statement today:
If it was not difficult enough to navigate the difficulties of a pandemic, we have been reminded once more of the racial disparities that exist in our society, among others, in the criminal justice system.
One more black man’s life was lost at the hand of a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The outrageous circumstances surrounding his death have prompted citizens of all races to manifest all over the country, including in our own Prince William County.
Police officers of all races are indeed, for the most part, good and decent persons who risk their lives every day for the protection of all of us. However, there are some officers whose character and values make them unfit to protect and serve. It is incumbent upon all of us, particularly the police leadership, to make sure that there are processes and policies in place to identify and eliminate them from the force.
I hope that the pain and sorrow we feel as a community about the death of George Floyd in police custody will compel us as Americans to confront our tortured racial past, and becomes the impetus for our nation to address racism and social inequities in earnest. While this is a monumental task, I believe we, as a community and country, can work collectively to achieve this goal. But like Dr. King did when showing us the way, we will do it forcefully but peacefully, and with respect for the life and property of others. I call on all citizens of Prince William County to commit to be a community that is willing to understand better not only our own lives but the lives of others. If we are willing to do this, we can create a foundation for all of us to work together regardless of our racial, ethnic, gender, or sexual orientation differences. The Prince William County Human Rights Commission is committed to working with our political leadership and our citizens to become a model community where we all can live and thrive together as one.