City of Southfield supports Black Lives Matter movement with new policies, resolutions, peaceful protests and BLM banners

June 24, 2020

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In a show of solidarity and support, the city of Southfield will install new Black Lives Matter and Southfield Strong banners along Evergreen Road between 10 and 11 Mile Roads on Thursday, June 25.  The banner installation follows the implementation of new city policies, joint resolutions and several peaceful protests all intended to support equality and justice.

The city of Southfield has been hit hard by the double shock waves of the COVID-19 pandemic and the international outcry in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. In light of this most recent national tragedy, the city of Southfield collectively calls for justice and police reforms that protect people of color.

“Black lives DO matter! They matter because they are our children, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, friends and neighbors. They matter because the injustices faced by some are felt by us all!  We are better than this, as a nation and a community,” commented City Council President Lloyd Crews. “The city of Southfield stands together Southfield Strong united in the fight for peace and justice.”

Black Men Unite Peaceful Protest – June 28

The Black Men Unite Peaceful Protest is planned for Sunday, June 28 from 2-4 p.m. beginning at Hope United Methodist Church to the Donald F. Fracassi Municipal Campus. The march is designed to unite Black men while protesting police brutality and racial injustice. The event will also include a voter registration drive and participants will be encouraged to complete the 2020 Census if they have not done so already.  

Our Sorrow and Determination for a More Equal and Just Society” Joint Resolution

The Southfield City Council & Mayor adopted the “Our Sorrow and Determination for a More Equal and Just Society” Joint Resolution to join in the call by former President Obama to do everything in our power “to recognize and root out the tragic, painful, maddening effects of systemic racism.” Southfield elected officials have also continued to support training for our police officers as well as departmental policies and practices that de-escalate tense situations and avoid the use of deadly force.

Duty to Intervene Policy

In response to the murder of Mr. Floyd, the Southfield Police Department has revised its ‘Use of Force’ policy under the direction of Chief of Police Elvin Barren. The policy amendment entitled Duty to Intervene requires every sworn employee present at any scene to stop another sworn employee when force is being inappropriately applied or is no longer required. This is an important step in addressing and correcting any implicit or lingering bias in community policing.

“We are all outraged by the senseless murders of Black men and women throughout this country and we need change! We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement as we can no longer be silent about the systemic racism, violence and injustices to the lives and well-being of Black people,” added Council President Pro Tem Tawnya Morris. “To begin to heal we must listen to each other and have crucial conversations that foster respect, sensitivity and cultural understanding.”

Southfield Unity Day – Kneel to Heal

The Urban Unity CDC, City of Southfield, and the Southfield Police Department sponsored Southfield Unity Day – Kneel to Heal on June 14.  Attendees were requested to wear facemasks and to stand six feet apart along Evergreen Road to form a symbolic human chain of unity between 10 and 11 Mile Roads. At 3:15 p.m., those that were able kneeled for eight minutes and forty-two seconds to honor the life of George Floyd.

My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) Free Face Mask Giveaway – June 27

The Southfield Chapter of My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) will provide free face coverings and hand sanitizer to area youth on Saturday, June 27 from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. in the circle driveway of the Southfield Parks & Recreation Building, 26000 Evergreen Road.

The program “Mask with a Message,” will provide 5-18 years-old free supplies while they last on a first-come, first-served basis.  Donors were also requested to include a message dedicated to someone they lost or who has recovered from COVID-19 so recipients will better understand how this virus has greatly affected our community. Attendees will drive up and a labeled bag will be placed in their trunk without having to leave car along with an important message about the coronavirus pandemic.