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Wearing black ribbons Birmingham City Councilors honor George Floyd

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By Erica Wright
The Birmingham Times

A Banner honoring George Floyd, the Minneapolis man killed by police last week, is outside of the City Council Chambers. The council passed a resolution of support for Floyd and his family. (Erica Wright, The Birmingham Times)

Wearing black ribbons, Birmingham City Councilors on Tuesday passed a resolution of support for George Floyd, the Minneapolis man killed by police last week that has led to several protests and civil unrest across the nation as well as in Birmingham.

In Birmingham peaceful protests and rallies ended with chaos on Sunday evening after demonstrators tried to tear down a Confederate monument in Linn Park downtown and damaged a number of buildings and businesses. On Monday evening the city removed the statue.

Meanwhile, the city remains under a state of emergency and a mandatory curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. daily until further notice.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the nine-member Council passed a unanimous resolution of support for Floyd which was important in light of recent events across the country, said Council President William Parker.

“I think it is important for the city and the council to support Mr. Floyd and his family . . . but also important that we take all of these energies and make sure this doesn’t happen again,” he said. “Make sure we don’t have the injustices that occur, not just in Minneapolis but across the country as it relates to African American men.”

Some members of the council spoke on Floyd as well as the protests over his death that took place this weekend and the civil unrest.

Councilor Clinton Woods, grandson of Bishop Calvin Woods, a Civil Rights leader and president of the Birmingham chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), said recent events have forced people to talk about racism.

“People have to look at the fact that racism exists and I think we’re at the point now where we say what do we do about it? Racism manifest itself in a lot of different ways and if we start that conversation and stay on that and get people that are willing to talk about it,” he said. “

Those working to make things should not be overlooked, said Councilor Valerie Abbott.

“There are really good people doing good work to make things right and then there are others doing as they please and hurting the cause’” said Abbott. “That sickens me because of all the good people here trying to do what is right and make a positive change.”

Humanity is the answer, said Councilor Steven Hoyt.

“We all have different beliefs but we all ought to come together,” he said. “At the end of the day, God created humanity so we all are the same, created by the same Creator.”