Following several days of peaceful protests against police brutality — and nights of clashes with police officers — Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist is urging demonstrators to stay calm.
“Please stay vigilant. Please practice social distancing. Please wear your masks.” — Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist
Speaking at a news conference Monday, Gilchrist said the weekend had been difficult for African Americans, but offered thanks to the demonstrators, and some advice.
“To the overwhelming majority of the people of Michigan who have taken this moment to demonstrate through the peaceful, impactful non-violence that has precipitated change throughout our nation’s history: thank you for stepping up in that manner,” Gilchrist said. “Please stay vigilant. Please practice social distancing. Please wear your masks.”
He said the final words of George Floyd – the black man killed in Minneapolis police custody – have become a rallying cry.
“We can’t breathe when the knee of injustice is pressed against our necks,” Gilchrist said. “We can’t breathe with a virus disproportionately killing our brothers and sisters. That is why it’s more important than ever that we dedicate each breath to peaceful action.”
Gilchrist says there must be reforms to end police brutality and the systemic injustice that people of color face on a daily basis.
In an effort to curb violence, an 8:00 pm curfew remains in place in for Lansing, Grand Rapids and Detroit.