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Outrage. Frustration. Pain.

June 2, 2020

Dear Neighbor,

Outrage. Frustration. Pain.

The demonstrations we have seen across our county these past few days are the result of the senseless death of George Floyd in the custody of police officers one week ago today. And before that, the disproportionate enforcement in our black and brown communities that became ever so apparent during the COVID-19 crisis. Collectively, these tragedies have resulted in a unified community cry against intolerance, injustice and bigotry.

To the Black Lives Matter Community: I see you. I support you. I stand with you.

I cannot truly understand the pain you feel. I don’t have all the answers. But as your Senator, I pledge to listen to you and others in our San Diego community who are working to bring about real solutions. It is my role to lift up the voices of those who will help solve the deep-rooted issues of systemic racism and turn the best of these solutions into meaningful laws. What we do here locally can be a roadmap for the rest of our nation.

To those who are out to commit crimes of opportunity and to divide our communities for political gain, you are on the wrong side of justice. To the volunteers, including my local District Office staff, who picked up brooms and buckets to clean up, I thank you. And to the police officers who have taken a knee and marched with demonstrators, I respect you.

A city can rebuild. What we can’t undo are the senseless deaths and abuses of power. We must do better.

I am happy to hear that a first step has been taken by the San Diego Police Department’s elimination of the carotid restraint procedure. But our community needs and deserves more.

We need to come together to increase oversight of police practices, improve community relations and police relations, and hire and retain a law enforcement workforce that is reflective of the diversity of our region.

This week has been a traumatic time in our communities and our nation. Take time to be kind. Listen to one another, and continue to fight for justice.

Toni Atkins signature

Toni Atkins
Senator, 39th District