Roswell leaders acknowledged the city’s roots in slavery during a protest Saturday, and pledged to address racism and inequality. The city will approve a resolution condemning racism during its City Council meeting Monday.
On Saturday, Roswell officials and Pastor Sabin Strickland of Pleasant Hill Church led the 14th peaceful protest held in the city since the police-related death of George Floyd in Minnesota sparked nationwide unrest.
At the protest, Mayor Lori Henry and city council members recited a pledge with Strickland, Roswell Police Chief James Conroy, as well as other city and church leaders on the steps of City Hall. The officials and leaders said they were committed to speaking out against racism when they see it and will use their voice and abilities to help eliminate it in the workplace and world.
Council members plan to approve a resolution on Monday that condemns racism and also includes the police department’s commitment to transparency, training and education and building trust in the community.
Conroy has said that he was disgusted by the actions of police in the death of Floyd. “I’m disgusted by the lack of compassion and the lack of sanctity for human life that was displayed,” Conroy said on Saturday. “We can do better. We can all do better.”
In opening remarks at the protest, Mayor Lori Henry reminded the crowd that Roswell was built on the enslavement of African Americans.
The city was founded by Roswell King, a slave owner and industrialist who built Roswell Mill with people who were enslaved to him. Mill ruins are on the site at popular Old Mill Park.
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