A day after more than a hundred protestors marched through the streets of Arlington, protesting the death of George Floyd, Arlington civil rights and city leaders say the message of those protesting must be heard.
“What we are seeing now is protesters, black, white, Hispanic – all ethnicities, they aren’t fighting each other, they are fighting the system,” Arlington NAACP President Alisa Simmons said.
Simmons said she hopes that protesters, while focused on the death of Floyd, do not forget instances where use of force was called into question in cities across North Texas, including Arlington.
“All these protesters, while they grieve the death of Mr. Floyd, they need to know this is a problem here in Arlington,” Simmons said.
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In the days after Floyd’s death, Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said in a statement “racial discrimination has no place in our society,” going on to say he supported the peaceful protesters.
“We are going to effect change, we are going to take action and that is one of the opportunities that is coming out of what is a very difficult, challenging situation,” Williams said.
Williams also pledged to continue to push to improve law enforcement in Arlington and listen closely to the voices of minority communities as the city goes through the process of selecting its next police chief. And it’s that process that Simmons believes is the most important decision citizens can make sure they are a part of.
“Citizens and city leaders have the opportunity to bring in a police chief that hopefully will be concerned with the community's concerns when it comes to policing,” Simmons said.