State, federal officials respond to Floyd’s death, protests and riots

Hundreds of Black Lives Matter protestors stand on the corner of McBean Parkway and Valencia Boulevard on Saturday, May 30, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

As demonstrations and riots continue across the country following the death of George Floyd, state and federal elected officials representing the Santa Clarita Valley have called for justice and peaceful protesting. 

Here’s what local elected officials said of Floyd’s death and what has transpired since: 

Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita

“As the nation mourns this tragedy, I encourage Americans who choose to protest to do so in a peaceful and legal manner. We have the constitutional right to protest in peace. We do not have a right to incite riots, promote violence, damage property or harm our fellow citizens. Anyone who decides to compromise the lawful protests with such illegal activity will also be held accountable by the full weight of the justice system. In the wake of riots and looting in the L.A. area, we need to ensure we are adhering to the curfews and adhering to the guidance set by law enforcement here in California’s 25th Congressional District.”

State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita

“What’s wrong is wrong. What happened to George Floyd is unacceptable. Every civil or human right was denied him and we must work harder and do better to put a stop to what divides us.” 

Assemblywoman Christy Smith, D-Santa Clarita

“I don’t share the lived experiences of people of color but as a mother, I feel a mother’s pain, as a neighbor and friend I want the suffering to end and as a legislator I want justice to be reflected in our policies. Activists focused on meaningful change have consistently insisted on peaceful protest in order to start the change we need to see. As we saw demonstrated by our SCV sheriffs, that should extend to policing of those protests as well. Last weekend, local activists were treated with dignity and respect. Acts of violence and looting are unfortunate distractions to this important cause.” 

State Sen. Henry Stern, D-Calabasas

“George Floyd’s murder is a tragedy and it is simply not possible to make sense of that senseless act. I know that my job, as someone who will never have to face what Floyd and so many other black Americans face, is to listen in this moment. We must stay vigilant, but not be fooled by those seeking to hijack these protests to steal and destroy our communities, knowing they do not reflect the values of those protesting peacefully in our streets to advance justice.”

Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale

“Resist violence. I know that it’s a natural consequence from being angry. Channel that anger into positive energy and please work with law enforcement. I know that it’s an uncomfortable place for both but we’ve got to get over that because we have people dying, we have property that’s being burnt.”    

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