[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Cities governed by African Americans are among those reeling from the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Here, four African American mayors speak out on pain and protests:

Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta

“What we saw overnight was not a protest, and it was not Atlanta. We as a people are strongest when we use our voices to heal our city instead of using our hands to tear it down. We know our citizens are angry. We are angry and we want justice. If we are to enact change in this nation, I implore everyone to channel their anger and sorrow into something more meaningful and effective through non-violent activism…Now more than ever, I am calling on our communities to come together to show our strength as one Atlanta through prayer and working together to restore and heal our city as an example for the nation.”

Muriel Bowser, Washington, D.C.

“I want to start by saying we certainly recognize and empathize with the outrage that people feel following the killing in Minneapolis…And we certainly empathize that the killing of George Floyd wasn’t the first, and that people are expressing outrage and demanding action. We also recognize that we are proud of our city and we do not want our city to be destroyed. So our police, and firefighters, and members of the public safety team for Washington, along with our federal partners, have been working to make sure people can exercise their First Amendment rights, while not destroying Washington, D.C.”

Melvin Carter, St. Paul

“We’re seeing an enormous amount of rage and frustration and anger on the ground. Much of that is totally understandable as the gruesome images of Mr. George Floyd’s murder have created a groundswell in our community of anger and frustration. Our concern is that it seems very clear that while some of our folks are out there in the streets just crying out to be heard, that they believe that George Floyd should still be alive, that all four of those officers should be held accountable for their actions…there also seem to be people in those crowds who are very intent on sparking violence, on breaking windows, on starting fires…”

Sylvester Turner, Houston

“The pain, anger, and frustration are evident and understandable. People have a right to march and demonstrate. As Houston’s mayor, I ask people throughout our city to protest peacefully and respectfully. In this city, we value human life. We value every person regardless of the neighborhood where you were born and reared. We also recognize that communities and law enforcement must work together on the same team and moving in the same direction.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]