Black Nevadans reflect on George Floyd’s murder

Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 10:26 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - One year ago, George Floyd was murdered by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Since that day, we’ve witnessed increased scrutiny of policing across America, racial unrest, and a riot in downtown Reno. Some of our black community members share their perspectives as they reflect on the last 12 months.

“We thought it was pretty horrific and pretty devastating.”

Maurice Washington, Pastor at Center of Hope Christian Fellowship

Those are just some of the emotions Pastor Maurice Washington of Center of Hope Christian Fellowship felt one year ago when he saw the images and videos of Floyd’s life being taken at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Days after his death, peaceful protests, as well as riots, blanketed parts of the world, our country, and the Biggest Little City.

“I do not support the burning and the looting and the killing and the destroying of our cities,” Washington said, “We’re better than that. We’re a lot better than that.”

Since then, other black lives have been lost, putting the men and women in blue under a microscope.

Washington added, “We’re all human, we’re all fallible, we all make mistakes. There has to be an opportunity to forgive and to have some remedy for redemption.”

From last summer to now, Washington believes our local law enforcement has made some progress in the fight to end racism.

“They’ve been very responsive to the community, I think they’ve been very transparent in their operations and dealing fairly and justly with various races and even working with the faith-based community in trying to find resolutions,” Washington said.

However, Tiffany Young, a Board Member with the Northern Nevada Black Cultural Awareness Society (NNBCAS) says we will have strides to go.

“As a local community, I think there are pockets of activity that are happening,” Young said, “My hope is that the pockets no longer become pockets but become practice. As a nation, I would say we are starting to wake up.”

Young believes that achieving racial justice is not easy, but essential.

Young added, “We’re going to have to get real vulnerable, we’re going to have to own our mishaps, and then take the steps necessary to make the systemic change to create what we really want, which is a culturally inclusive, welcoming, and diverse community.”

Although we differ in age, race, gender, and economic status, Washington says everyone deserves an equal chance at life.

“Love and respect, treating each other the way you would want to be treated. Just have faith in God and have faith in one another.”

Maurice Washington, Pastor at Center of Hope Christian Fellowship

Where there is tragedy, triumph is not far behind. The path to equality is not a race, but rather a journey; one we all must be open to taking together.

Young says it’s everyone’s responsibility to report hate crimes, make sure your workplace is diverse, and educate, donate, or get involved with efforts toward equality.

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