BROOKLYN, NY — Council Member Farah N. Louis (D-Brooklyn) issued the following statement after police and protesters clashed last night during a demonstration held at Barclays Center in response to the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police while in their custody. 


“Haunted by images of brutality and the final pleas of Black men and women of all ages, we persist in honor of those who have been unjustly detained and taken from us. Amid a pandemic, there have been mass protests because we are tired of seeing those who look like us beaten, punched, shoved, and killed by police. 

“From slavery to present-day, black people have experienced unimaginable cruelty and violence in an attempt to break us down – mind, body, and spirit. We have never fully recovered from the deep wounds inflicted by years of systemic racism, prejudice, and privilege.

“Last night’s violent clashes at the Barclays Center between protesters and police was the culmination of racial injustice, agitators, bad actors from the NYPD, and a lack of leadership working in partnership with the community.

“A peaceful protest was co-opted by ill-intentioned individuals, some of whom are not New York City residents, whose reckless actions could prompt more aggressive community policing measures such as a curfew or the mobilization of the military. We cannot afford to lose sight of why we protest – to demand justice, representation, and equality. We have the right to live freely and yet must remain vigilant during interracial interactions that could result in false 911 calls and potentially fatal police encounters. 

“Words cannot pacify us as promises of investigations and training have resulted in little or no reforms amongst the ranks. When you incite rather than de-escalate violence, it only deepens the chasm that continues to divide our city and devastate families. The wheels of justice move slowly, and they have failed Eric Garner, Amadou Diallo, and countless others across this city, state, and nation,” said Council Member Farah N. Louis.