Meg Ryan Shockey
Brooklyn City Council
Sleepless in Brooklyn...until the work is done
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June 8 Council remarks on standing up to racism
As Brooklyn, along with the rest of the world continues its battle against the COVID crisis, the murder of George Floyd reminded all Americans that racism still plagues communities around our country.
I believe it’s up to all of us to work harder to eliminate racism and antisemitism. Our community is a better place to work and live when we embrace diversity. The continued increase of the Hispanic, Asian, Black, and other minority populations calling Brooklyn home have helped our city thrive as well as add value to our great community.
So, let’s listen as those who don’t look like us or practice the same religion tell their story about how they’ve been marginalized and discriminated against in society. Let’s educate ourselves on racism, antisemitism, and discrimination. Let’s speak out when we hear racist or discriminatory comments. No act is too small. Individually, let’s do better and together we will become a better society.
Brooklyn is a wonderful community. If each of us steps up and does our part to work to end racism and discrimination, Brooklyn can become even better and truly accepting and welcoming to all residents who want to call Brooklyn home.
I want to take a moment to thank Chief Mielke for getting back to me on how Brooklyn has continued to work hard to ensure our force treats all with respect. Chief Mielke reported to me our officers have taken part in trainings on topics such as cultural diversity, de-escalation, and use of force. The Coffee with a Cop program and the bicycle officer program that Brooklyn has are both great ways to create trust between our residents and the officers who protect us. The Use of Force Policy that Brooklyn has - and is reviewed annually as well as after any “use of force” incident helps to ensure that our officers are held to the high standard that they should be.
I did not ask this and am not telling you this because I believe there is a problem with Brooklyn Police Department. I’ve met many of our officers and believe Brooklyn and its residents are in good hands. I also believe that prevention is key - and that these preventative measures further help keep Brooklyn residents and visitors - as well as our officers - safe.
Mr. Floyd's horrible death should require all of us to re-exam our own actions on what we can do to eliminate racism. I hope our discussion tonight is the start of Brooklyn's discussion.