South Florida community leaders say the video showing the brutal killing of George Floyd is wake-up call that policy and perception need to change.
“It’s just disgusting that we are still in the same place, we’re still begging for recognition, begging for our humanity to be recognized begging for change,” Melba Pearson said.
Pearson is used to being on the front lines of the fight for social justice. From working as a civil rights attorney, head prosecutor or the deputy director at the ACLU.
“I’ve worked on criminal justice reform, police practices and immigration,” she said.
It’s videos like the one showing Floyd’s killing that sparked Pearson to make another career shift and run for an elected office in Miami-Dade County.
“For decades for centuries people of color were saying I can’t breathe my rights are being violated and in recent history it became this well you guys play the race card too much, you complain too much, but when you have white allies, people who believe in justice raise the same messages, now it ends up being received differently, it’s unfortunate, but that’s where we are,” Pearson said.
“So we’ve had multiple videos now right, this is the latest to showcase to highlight if you will some of the atrocities that go on,” Pastor Steve Scalici said.
Pastor Steve Scalici says this video showing George Floyd being pinned to the ground by a police officer’s knee for more than 8 minutes should not only spark a conversation—it should spark change.
“It’s easy again to say well that’s for them to worry about, but this is a human issue this is a sin issue. This is an issue of humanity,” he said.