Milltown mayor wants residents to ‘feel safe, accepted and free to speak openly’ in wake of George Floyd death

PHOTO BY KATHY CHANG/STAFF

MILLTOWN – Milltown Mayor Trina Mehr said she wants everyone who calls the borough home to “feel safe, accepted and free to speak openly” in the wake of the events surrounding the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“I cannot presume and fully understand or walk in another’s shoes,” she said. “What I can do is listen to those who are rightfully upset and learn more about what we can do as a community.”

Floyd, an African American man, died after Minneapolis Police Department Officer Derek Chauvin, a white man, knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes after pinning him to the ground during an arrest on May 25. Chauvin was charged with second-degree murder on May 29. Three other officers, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, were charged with aiding and abetting Floyd’s murder on June 3.

Mehr discussed the events of Minneapolis during her borough updates with residents on June 3.

“[Floyd’s] death and many others like it disturb and sadden me,” she said. “It’s not surprising people are outraged. Of course violence and violence at protests often injures those who are already violated. The looting we’ve seen is unacceptable. However, as Americans we have a right to protest peacefully.”

She quoted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “In the end, we will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

“So I will not stay silent. … I know many of you have been discussing this very sensitive issue,” she said, adding she is available to listen to people’s experiences and start a dialogue.