Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed, declares racism a ‘public health emergency’

Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed, declares racism a 'public health emergency'

Nearly two months after the controversial killing of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis cop, the city’s Council on Friday passed a resolution declaring ‘racism’ of any form as a public health emergency.

According to a press release by the city administration, the resolution identifies: “racism in all its forms causes persistent discrimination and disparate outcomes in many areas of life, including housing, education, health, employment, public safety, and criminal justice; exacerbated further by the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.”

“For Minneapolis to be a place where everyone can live and thrive, we must recognize this crisis for what it is and approach policymaking with the urgency it deserves,” Mayor Jacob Frey was quoted as saying. “Systemic racism is among the greatest long-term threats our city and nation are facing, and the last two months have made that reality painfully clear.” 

George Floyd, a black man was killed by a white cop in March by pressing Floyd’s neck with a knee for 9 minutes until he died. The death sparked a global protest against racial injustice and went on to invoke some historic changes across the world. Floyd’s last words before dying- ‘i can’t breathe’ became the clarion call of a global protest that swept the East and West.

The resolution by the Minneapolis city council stated various studies and researches that show the vulnerability of people of color in various domains of life including at the cusp of racism, health issues, higher mortality rates than the whites.

The resolution noted Minneapolis ranks as one of the worst places in terms of racial gaps when it comes to school diploma, median income, home ownership, and poverty.

On June 8, a majority of the City Council voted for disbanding the Minneapolis Police after tremendous public pressure followed by the George Floyd killing and sought to replace the city’s police with a new model of public safety.

“This action is the first step in long-overdue restorative measures for our BIPOC community,” said City Council Member Phillipe Cunningham, referring to Black, Indigenous, and people of color.

“The passing of this resolution means that we as local elected officials understand that antiracism must be centered in all that we do as we work to ensure that Minneapolis is at the forefront of achieving racial equity.”