Hudson Valley Black Rights Activist Elouise Maxey on Peace and Protest

Photo by Susan Stava

The President of the Northern Dutchess NAACP – and the woman who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – comments on the need for change and social justice.

The deaths of George Floyd and other black men at the hands of police must stop.

“We are done dying!”

I am sad and outraged over the death of another black man at the hands of the police. Mr. Gregory Floyd was not resisting arrest, he was handcuffed and face down on the ground with the officer’s knee on his neck, clearly stating “I can’t breathe.” The only threat he presented to the officer was being a black male.

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It has become the norm, for certain police officers, to beat and kill black males. They are the new lynch mobs in blue, with a badge and a gun instead of ropes, guns and white hoods. This behavior needs to be changed through psychological evaluations before an officer is hired, and yearly after they are hired, through more diversity and sensitivity training, training on cultural competence, body cams, and training on how to subdue without beating and killing the person in custody. I am glad the officer has been arrested. The officer and his colleagues on the scene who failed to intervene all should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, swiftly and expeditiously.

I extend my heartfelt sympathy to Mr. Floyd’s family. May God comfort them. I ask the public to please stop the violence. I understand your anger and frustration, but Dr. King taught us that violence only begets violence. A peaceful, nonviolent protest is best. Look what he was able to do through nonviolent protest.

Elouise Maxey
President of the Northern Dutchess NAACP

Read more about Elouise Maxey’s lasting impact on social justice in the Hudson Valley here.

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