To the editor:
We, the undersigned, are members of the Alexandria Human Rights Commission, but we submit this letter in our own capacity as residents of this great city we call home.
Recent events have underscored that prejudice, implicit bias and racism are very much alive in this country – specifically as it pertains to the African-American community. We are aware of the pain and sense of hopelessness that only intensify among African-American men, women and children every time another African-American is killed as a result of unjust and racist policing and profiling.
We unwaveringly denounce the actions that resulted in George Floyd’s murder and are committed to ensuring similar incidents do not occur in the City of Alexandria.
Our role as members of the Human Rights Commission is to safeguard and build upon the many civil and human rights afforded to you innately and statutorily, and we do not take this role lightly. As commissioners, we want you to know that we are responsible to you and want every resident to feel empowered to contact the Human Rights Commission with concerns affecting your rights including but not limited to racism, discrimination and wrongful policing practices.
The Commission is here for every resident of Alexandria and has the ability to hear complaints, hold public hearings and commence investigations. Please do not hesitate to utilize it.
No city is immune to the symptoms of racism and discrimination. Even in Alexandria, these symptoms exist. Our goal is to identify these symptoms early and condemn them before it becomes a disease that results in yet another unjust killing of a human being who did not deserve to die.
We stand in solidarity with every person, group and locality speaking out against social and racial injustice and the killing of George Floyd. Finally, we pledge to prevent the sprout of racism in Alexandria and hold those who exhibit such behavior accountable.
-Kevin Edwards II, Matt Harris, Alexandria