Fayetteville mayor issues statement on local protests

Mayor Lioneld Jordan / File photo

Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan issued a statement Monday on the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, and encouraged people to avoid violence and stay safe when demonstrating against Floyd’s death.

City officials said several protest events took place in Fayetteville late last week and over the weekend in response to the use of excessive force that killed Floyd.

“While most participants engaged in peaceful protests and demonstrations, some exhibited behaviors that created unsafe conditions for themselves and others,” a news release stated. “These included standing in streets, stopping moving vehicles and engaging in person-to-person confrontation. Additionally, some participants did not practice social distancing or wear face coverings to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Here is Jordan’s full statement:

Part of what makes Fayetteville unique is how engaged our community is on local, state, national and global events. I love this city, and I love all our people. I’m proud to live in a town that welcomes voices of all kinds, from many different backgrounds. Our residents are protesting Mr. Floyd’s horrifying and inexcusable death through peaceful demonstrations and dialogue. I appreciate our community’s participation in this dialogue, though I am troubled by a report of one event that began peacefully but escalated in a way that is neither typical of our community nor representative of the spirit of Fayetteville. I am also concerned about the lack of COVID-19 precautions being taken by some attendees at these events.

Fayetteville is a compassionate city. Fayetteville is a welcoming city. Violence has no place in our community. If you participate in demonstrations, I encourage you to do so peacefully and not let violent factions derail your cause or your message.