Hill-Evans issues statement on racial injustice cases and protests

YORK, June 3 –State Rep. Carol Hill-Evans, D-York, today issued the following statement in response to a string of high-profile deaths not limited to George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Antwon Rose. Eric Garner. Michael Brown, Jr. Tamir Rice. Walter Scott. Alton Sterling. Philando Castile.

"We are tired. Tired of having to repeat ourselves over and over again that our lives matter,” Hill-Evans said. “The list of loved ones taken from us due to the poor judgment and needless violent actions of some law enforcement agents hired to protect our communities is unfortunately nothing new. The roots of racism and injustice for people of color run deep. We must continue to work tirelessly to dismantle the systemic racism already built within our power structures.

“No longer are we willing to sit quietly by. We are waking up and speaking out. I applaud those marching and protesting for equal treatment and a fair justice system. The oppression that has faced our communities has gone on for far too long. We must continue to insist on better behavior and non-violent solutions from each and every member of law enforcement.

“With that said, I am focused on solutions. My colleagues in the Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus have legislation that can fix our criminal justice system and heal our communities. As an example of such legislation, I am looking forward to advancing a bill that would create a special independent prosecutor in cases where deadly police force is used. Having the police and law enforcement agencies investigate themselves does not result in justice for any of the victims. We have seen how the outcome never seems to fit the crime.

“The public’s trust has eroded; it’s time to start working toward rebuilding trust within our communities. As my friend U.S. Representative Madeleine Dean stated, ‘It is not enough just to turn our collective attention to police violence. We must do more. We must also address biases that remain in our own hearts and within our communities.’

“I hope as legislators we take steps that will enable us to work together when we return to session. It will take each and every member working within the walls of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to reach a solution that is just and fair.

"Despite the overwhelmingly peaceful protestors, outside agitators used our protests as an opportunity to co-opt our message and instead of march for respect and justice, they acted out to loot and damage, injure and kill law enforcement like David Dorn, and other protestors. This is unacceptable and only serves to undermine the seriousness of why we protest.

"I am particularly pleased to see dozens of York County's law enforcement leaders and clergy sign a statement stating that they stand united in outrage and condemnation of those who use deadly force in the manner we have seen. They are correct to call law enforcement a high and noble calling requiring integrity and fairness.

“In solidarity.”

For more information contact Hill-Evans office at (717) 848-9595.