“Last night, when I walked from Borough Hall to the heart of the protests in Brooklyn over the murder of George Floyd, I reflected on the pain I felt for him. It is a pain we’ve felt, again and again, over the years, as we’ve watched countless Black people across this country fall victim to police abuse. Abner Louima. Amadou Diallo. Tamir Rice. Philando Castile. Sandra Bland. Freddie Gray. Eric Garner. Breonna Taylor. People whose lives were tragically cut short in the blink of an eye. The images of violence and destruction on our streets last night also brought back searing reminders of the past.
“One was watching my community burn in protest after the assassination of Dr. King. The other was the pain of seeing a police officer walk free after the killing of young Clifford Glover, a 10-year-old boy from South Jamaica, Queens. Even though I was still a young man, both incidents are etched in my memory. They taught me, at a young age, how the powder keg of racial inequity can quickly ignite into violence and disorder.
“The protests that took place last night are yet another manifestation of that raw anger. The open wound of racism cannot be ignored.”