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Councillor Damian White says we must “reject racism” in response to death of George Floyd

Councillor Damian White wants everyone to feel at home in Havering 

The Leader of Havering Council has said “we must always reject racism” in response to the death of African-American George Floyd in the US. 

There have been worldwide protests, including in London, after footage was released of a white police officer arresting Mr Floyd, 46, and kneeling on his neck for more than eight minutes after he claimed he could not breathe.

The officer, Derek Chauvin, has since been charged with second degree murder while three other officers who were at the scene have been accused of aiding and abetting murder and aiding and abetting manslaughter. 

“Recent and tragic events in America are a stark reason for us to champion this spirit of acceptance and inclusivity,” said Councillor Damian White. “In Havering we must always reject racism, inequality and discrimination in all forms.

“Havering Council actively works against racism and discrimination and we do not tolerate it. Like every institution across the country, we all have more to do to tackle it. We work with multi-agency partners like the police as well as community groups on issues including hate crime and community cohesion.

“We hold community forums and internal staff forums to provide opportunities to understand and discuss the issues and evidence and agree action. That work recently has included research to understand the impacts of COVID-19 on Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff and residents so that we can act to help people be safer.”

Cllr White has also been encouraged by the Havering community’s response to the coronavirus pandemic: 

“During the past few months I have been humbled at the way communities from all races and backgrounds in Havering have come together to support each other at a time of shared crisis,”  he added. 

“We have shown solidarity and kindness. It has been a reminder of what makes Havering a truly special place.

“I want everyone to feel at home in Havering, regardless of race, background, religion, gender or sexuality. We must continue to work together to make sure we treat everyone with equality, fairness and kindness in everything we do.”

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