Senate Majority Leader Comments on George Floyd Homicide and Violent Protests

(HARRISBURG) – Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman issued the following statement on the death of George Floyd in Minnesota and recent protests, expressing hope that all sides can engage in constructive conversations about how we move forward:

“I am saddened by the division we have seen across the county.

“The death of George Floyd in Minnesota is a crime, and I am encouraged that the legal system is proceeding in that case as it should: with all officers being immediately removed from duty followed by the lead officer being charged with second degree murder and the three others being charged for their roles. My thoughts are with the peaceful protestors who are exercising their rights and working to raise awareness of the challenges still faced by black Americans today.

“Protests and demonstrations are a healthy part of public discourse. We’ve seen quite a few this year. While I fully support the rights of protestors to make their voices heard on critical issues, we cannot allow their message to be overshadowed by those who are derailing these events with disgraceful acts of destruction. Violence against persons and property does nothing to solve the problems we face and only sows the seeds of division and dilutes the message of unity that so many protestors are promoting each and every day.

“We have worked together to pass sweeping, bipartisan criminal justice reform measures in recent years, and more bills are moving through the legislature. We are committed to engaging in a constructive conversation about how we move forward together.

“Just as I know the overwhelming majority of people protesting in the streets are doing so peacefully, we also know that the vast majority of our law enforcement officers are good men and women of conscience. They are committed to creating safe, vibrant communities where every person has the opportunity to thrive. Our goal should be to help police and protestors come together and find common ground, not drive them further apart.

“Every time we respond to high-profile incidents with more division, we lose an opportunity for progress. Sweeping stereotypes tear us apart. Peace and perspective is what we need, and as leaders, it’s what we are obligated to work toward. I urge all citizens to turn back attempts to divide us, and stand up to violence. We can let this tear us further apart, or set a new course of unity.”

Contact: Jenn Kocher – jkocher@pasen.gov