Calls for Inclusion and Joint Message of Hope from Palo Alto

Calls for Inclusion and Joint Message of Hope from Palo Alto

A message of community and hope from City Manager Ed Shikada, Police Chief Robert Jonsen, Reverend Kaloma Smith, and Pastor Paul Bains

In these uncertain and unprecedented times, our unified message is to elevate and uplift the themes of local and national community peaceful protests sharing loss, anger, and a call for change through equity and inclusion. Our prayers and condolences are with George Floyd’s family during this challenging time and as a nation, and we can only imagine the pain that they are enduring. We recognize the calls for systemic change that this and other tragedies demand. We must stand together in response calling for inclusion through peaceful exchange and dialogue.

We condemn the actions and inaction of the police officers in Minnesota and we do not tolerate or condone this type of behavior in Palo Alto at any level. Their actions have had a tremendous impact on all police officers serving communities like Palo Alto all across our great nation. No police department is immune from public scrutiny, nor should it be. Even here in Palo Alto, the actions of a few officers in the past may have caused our community to question their commitment to the law and policy. However, through mutual respect, trust, and a deep regard for the Constitutional rights of all, we remain more steadfast today than ever to continue to support our community through these uncertain times. We are working collaboratively with our regional partners, actively monitoring events on the Peninsula, and continuing to do our best to keep our community safe during this time.

With that said, these issues transcend public safety to how we as individuals respond in times of conflict. We urge our community to unify together to honor George Floyd’s life through equity and respect. We are in this together and through this discourse, we have an opportunity to affect real and lasting change.

Our City has a long proud history of supporting all kinds of demonstrations and allowing people to legally and safely assemble to express their opinions peacefully and respectfully. We're honored to help do our part, and we fully support the rights of those who are peacefully protesting, and honoring the memory of George Floyd and others. As recently as yesterday, there were two such peaceful demonstrations in Palo Alto, where members of our community turned out to express their views. Peaceful events such as these, and their necessary calls for change, should outshine the acts of violence taking place in several communities. Violence and destruction are not the answer and we urge our community to continue to come together in peaceful conversation.

Be safe and stay well.

Ed Shikada, City of Palo Alto City Manager

Robert Jonsen, City of Palo Alto Police Chief

Reverend Kaloma Smith, City of Palo Alto Human Relations Commission Chair and Pastor of the University AME Zion Church of Palo Alto

Pastor Paul Bains, Palo Alto Police Chaplin and Senior Pastor of Saint Samuel Church in East Palo Alto

Last Updated: June 1, 2020