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Statement from Kingston Council and Kingston Race Equality Council on death of George Floyd

Kingston Council Leader Caroline Kerr and CEO of Kingston Race Equality Council John Azah have issued a joint statement following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Cllr Caroline Kerr, Leader of Kingston Council said:

“Kingston is proud of its diverse community and we stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter campaign. We are appalled by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and recognise the anger and grief it has caused.

“This dreadful incident may have happened a long way from our borough but it is a stark reminder that racial injustice is an outrage against humanity. It highlights the continued need for us all to fight discrimination, hate and address inequality.   

“Our borough will not tolerate racism or any form of hate crime and we cannot turn a blind eye to it.” 

John Azah, CEO of Kingston Race Equality Council said: 

“History tells us that in some parts of the world Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) people suffer and experience disproportionate amounts of violence and injustice. 

“In the Royal Borough of Kingston BAME communities want to identify with the suffering and grief of the family of George Floyd, show strong support for the campaign for justice for BAME people across America and the world and to urge that positive action is taken to stop such deaths and violence.”

Kingston Council and Kingston Race and Equalities Council (KREC) are working very positively together to promote equality, inclusion, understanding and cohesion which empowers and enables communities to work in partnership and allows us to tackle these challenges jointly.

We would also like to respond to the report published yesterday by Public Health England highlighting the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on particular groups of the population, including Black, Asian and other communities. It confirms that the impact of COVID-19 has replicated existing health inequalities and, in some cases, has increased them.  We are extremely concerned about these health inequalities and will continue to work with our communities and partners to support those at risk and do what we can to change this unacceptable position.