Statement from County Executive Marcus J. Molinaro
following the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests nationwide
“We all have a moral duty to call out intolerance and racism wherever it exists, to speak out passionately and peacefully when we see injustice, and to act to make necessary changes. We also must listen to – and learn from – those in our community with experiences and opinions different than our own. For when we listen to one another, we can grow and move toward a more enlightened society that improves everyone’s collective experience.
I can never know the fear and anguish people of color face every day, going about their daily lives – the accusatory glares, the baseless presumption of wrong-doing – wondering if today will be the day they face outright harassment, physical intimidation or worse, based purely on the prejudice of others. I will, however, defend the rights of anyone to peacefully gather and voice their opinions. Last week, we saw the worst of humanity in those indelible moving images that have galvanized a country into action and that will endure long after we’re gone. Make no mistake: George Floyd was murdered at the hands of an officer who swore to uphold the law – to serve and protect the people of Minneapolis who handed to him a most sacred trust. The brave men and women of law enforcement deserve our respect, and the overwhelming majority have earned it. The actions of the four Minneapolis officers and any others who act recklessly and cruelly put at risk the countless conscientious officers who protect and serve with professionalism and courage every day, throughout our county and our country.
The anger and suffering felt by so many across our nation is genuine, as is the need to express it in a peaceful manner. Dutchess County will always welcome and support those expressing their opinions. We must never allow our passion to overpower our need for peaceful discourse. No one has all the answers, but we must all work to find them together and to give rise to changes our nation, state, and community so desperately need.”