The leaders of all ten of Manchester’s Boroughs along with The Mayor and his deputy have issued a statement following last week’s killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

In the statement they say that the murder of George Floyd on the streets of Minneapolis has sent shockwaves around the world which are being powerfully and painfully felt here in Greater Manchester.

Floyd’s death has sparked huge protests across the US against racism and the police killings of black Americans.

“As Leaders, we want to express our revulsion at the manner of George’s death, our sympathy with his family and our complete solidarity with the Black community here and elsewhere.“

“We know the anger and the agony is real. Discrimination continues every day, not just in the USA but in the UK too. People are tired of having to fight it. “

They have agreed to coordinate the lighting of civic buildings across our 10 boroughs on Friday evening, following on from the example of Trafford Council, and Salford and Manchester City Councils.

The forty six year old Floyd was an unarmed black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes as he told them “I can’t breathe”.

He moved to Minneapolis after being released from prison and was known as a “gentle giant” who was trying to turn his life around.

Greater Manchester’s leaders say that this moment demands more from us and our gesture will mean more if it is accompanied by our own reflection and action.

“First, recognising the under-representation of our Black community in decision-making in Greater Manchester, we commit to strengthening our dialogue with the Black community and to working with Operation Black Vote’s Leadership Programme to improve representation.

Second, to ensure that there is a systematic challenge to the structural inequalities that still exist between our different communities, we commit to bringing forward proposals next month for a Greater Manchester Race Equality Panel. This week’s report from Public Health England confirms that people from black and Asian communities are at greater risk from the virus and requires a new focus here and across the country on health inequalities.

Third, to ensure all of our communities receive equal treatment from Greater Manchester Police, we make a new commitment today to work with them to publish a quarterly Race Equality Policing Report on the use of policing powers. We will seek to build more community confidence through even greater transparency.

We have a long and proud history in Greater Manchester of confronting discrimination head-on. This is a moment to challenge ourselves to do more. The best way of marking the life of George Floyd is with a promise of real change.”


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