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Citizens of North Bend,
On behalf of myself and North Bend City Councilmembers, I want to express our deepest sadness over the killing of George Floyd. We not only grieve for his death, but also for the many others who have lost their lives while under police control.
We are proud to contract with the Snoqualmie Police Department whose officers ensure our safety with honor and integrity. Excessive force such as was used on George Floyd would not be tolerated by the City leaders who employ them. In a recent letter to our citizens, Police Chief Perry Phipps wrote, “… we clearly understand that it is our duty and responsibility to serve all people with respect.”
Former President George Bush spoke out against the disturbing bigotry and exploitation of black Americans. He went on to speak to the need to see through the eyes of the threatened, the oppressed and the disenfranchised. And yet here we are again, the city’s aflame with fear in the air, unemployment is rising and there is tension everywhere.
We know that this is a challenging time. We are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and suffering financial hardships. We hear about new space launches against the backdrop of the demonstrations across this nation related to citizens’ deaths at the hands of police officers. And we hear about opportunistic groups taking advantage of that situation by promoting violence by looting businesses.
As community leaders, we must not tolerate these kinds of behavior. We condemn racism and urge our citizens to denounce the racial crimes and inequities of the past. We affirm the rights of people to peacefully protest and to stand in solidarity against injustice through non-violent means.
Do not allow the people that are looting to hide behind a justified protest. We encourage people to speak to your families and your children to help them understand what is going on in our country. We are living in scary times, but we are also living in a time of hope that we are at a turning point and that people may come together to help stop the injustice in our nation.
As a community, we must rise up and show our humanity to one another. Let’s keep conversations flowing about racial disparities and work together to make a difference.
With Respect and Hope,
Mayor Rob McFarland on behalf of City of North Bend