I want to offer my sincerest condolences to the family of George Floyd. It is hard enough to lose someone you love, but to have to relive it repeatedly is even harder.
I also want to say that our hearts are with our fellow citizens of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The good people of that city have also endured a great trauma. My prayer is that, with the decision of a jury of their peers rendered, that they may now move forward peacefully.
Regardless of how anyone feels about this particular verdict, I want to thank the people of Minneapolis for upholding our system of justice through this trial. It has been difficult for all involved. But the rightful place for all of us to find justice is in the courtroom.
In Fontana, we strongly believe in the First Amendment, which includes the right to free speech and to peaceably protest. It must be said that the men and women of our great police department are among its biggest defenders. We are honored in our city to have such dedicated officers committed to supporting and protecting the Constitution and all it stands for.
While we, as Americans, enjoy the rights of the First Amendment, please remember that this City will not tolerate anyone who participates in violent behavior or in damaging property -- public or private. We simply cannot and will not stand by and allow our homes, our businesses, stores, parks, churches, schools or roads to be destroyed.
We need to be Fontana Together – Fontana Strong.
Together, we can and will maintain peace, security and dignity for our community.
We will uphold the Constitutional rights we all enjoy as Americans. Destructive and violent behavior is not one of those rights.
The key lesson of Dr. Martin Luther King’s The Other America speech is that:
“...riots are socially destructive and self-defeating.
“[he went on to say} I’m still convinced that nonviolence is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for freedom and justice.
“I feel that violence will only create more social problems than they will solve.”
This is our City which we have all worked hard to make a great place to live, work, and play.
I urge each of you to stand with me and my Council colleagues to protect our City from anyone who would try to damage or destroy it. Remember, Fontana Together moves Fontana Forward. Thanks to all of you who are Fontana Strong.
(Acquanetta Warren is the mayor of Fontana.)