MISSOULA — Missoula has joined a growing list of communities across the US in holding events following the death of a Minnesota man during an encounter with law enforcement.
Demonstrations have been playing out across the country, often echoing the same themes of “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice, No Peace” following Monday’s death of George Floyd, a black Minnesota man who died in police custody.
A rally was held on Friday -- and again on Saturday -- in front of the Missoula County Courthouse.
Missoula Police Chief Jaeson White, University of Montana Police Department Chief Chief Marty Ludemann, Missoula County Sheriff TJ McDermott, Missoula Mayor John Engen and University of Montana President Seth Bodnar released a joint statement Saturday about the recent events in Minneapolis, and the protests taking place across the country.
The statement reads as follows:
We recognize that as leaders in law enforcement, government and higher education, we have a particular responsibility to foster a welcoming and inclusive community.
And so, as we have witnessed troubling events and racial injustice in Minneapolis and across the country, we reaffirm our shared commitment to an inclusive, welcoming and supportive Missoula community that values and promotes diversity in all its forms. We each have an important role to play as advocates for justice and equity, and we as leaders commit to acting in solidarity against racism and acts of discrimination, injustice and violence. During this challenging time for our society, let this be an opportunity for our community to come together to speak and act in ways that make Missoula a place worthy of all people.