Santa Clara city officials today released a statement about the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis 10 days ago. Below is an excerpt of the letter.
Dear Santa Clara Community,
We were shocked and saddened by the tragic and senseless killing of George Floyd on May 25, 2020. As many of you, city officials are also struggling with what took place and are hurt by the horrific actions by former members of the Minneapolis Police Department that led to his death.
He did not deserve to be killed.
Over the last week, we have heard from many Santa Clarans who have expressed deep concern over this grave injustice to humanity. We know that this country’s work is still a long way from being over to prevent more instances of racial injustice. Santa Clara is not immune from this nation’s history. We too must take responsibility to embrace this conversation and honestly work through the many deep-rooted issues that exist, including the systemic causes of injustice and racism.
In true Santa Clara spirit, residents have been asking how to participate in making sure that our community responds to this injustice. Additionally, and equally as important, how do we hold our police department accountable and ensure safety and justice for all residents. Santa Clara knows that community trust is sacred. We must continue to demonstrate equity, fairness, professionalism, and unbiased policing. Although we have provided training and tools for our police department to protect the community free from bias, we also recognize that we can always do more and there is always room for improvement. We invite our community to express what they have observed and provide their perspective so that we can continue to improve.
The men and women of the Santa Clara Police Department are committed to protecting and serving all, acting professionally and with integrity. Training on use of force and implicit bias are among the ways we are committed to providing excellent service. We will always work to ensure that we are doing all that we can to improve our relations with ALL members of our community. It is a privilege for us to serve and that privilege is not taken lightly.
Racial injustice is a deep-rooted systematic problem throughout the country. We can all work together to build connections and trust. Our similarities as well as our differences make Santa Clara wonderful, safe and vibrant to live, work, learn and play. We must celebrate our diversity and work toward equity. This is only the beginning of a dialogue, both a local and national one.
Yesterday, on behalf of Santa Clara, Mayor Lisa M. Gillmor signed the “Commit to Action” initiative, led by President Obama, which is a call for improved police use of force policies.
This is in support of actions needed to heal our nation and effect change. There is always more that we can do to ensure continuous improvement and serve our public in the best manner possible.
We all must be a part of the solution.
In Community Spirit,
Lisa M. Gillmor, mayor
Deanna J. Santana, city manager
Pat Nikolai, police chief
Brian Doyle, city attorney