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Goal of protests is justice

To the editor:

I am writing today on behalf of some of us who have spent time over the last few days protesting the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent delay by the authorities in charging all four officers involved in this senseless tragedy. Our goal was — and continues to be — bringing attention to this atrocity and demanding accountability for all four officers involved. There can be no justice until Officers Tuo Thao, Thomas Lane, and J. Alexander Kuang face criminal charges for their roles in George Floyd’s slow and painful death.

We would also like to take some time to address some concerns brought up by members of the community around rioting. Let us be clear: our protest is nonviolent, and we intend on keeping it that way. It is our position that our goals are best advanced when all sides are committed to peace. It goes without saying that none of us wish to see riots in New Ulm. Recognizing that there has been violence in the Twin Cities and elsewhere, we also acknowledge that many popular and confrontational demonstrations against police are a symptom of grievances going unheard.

In this case, the killing of George Floyd has highlighted the lack of progress around police brutality and accountability in our society. Addressing these issues is a crucial first step toward achieving justice for George Floyd.

While solving the problem of police brutality is certain to be a long process, there are concrete steps that can and must be taken now to move towards justice for George Floyd.

First, as we have said, all four officers involved in George Floyd’s death must be apprehended and charged.

Second, Governor Walz should use his authority to appoint a special prosecutor who can vigorously and independently pursue justice in this case.

Thirdly, we must cease the militarization of the police in the United States. Finally, we must increase community oversight of police forces not only in Minnesota, but across our country.

Taking the steps outlined above represents a step in the direction of justice, acknowledging that these are only some immediate fixes for a broader problem. As such, we also advocate for a broad reevaluation of the values and principles that underlie policing in our nation. We urge our fellow citizens to join us in demanding justice from our leaders by joining us in protest.

In Solidarity,

Rodrigo Tojo Garcia

New Ulm

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