Snellville condemns racism in resolution, creates advisory council

The Snellville City Council passed a resolution condemning racism Monday night and committed to building a “culture of trust” between the city, its police department and residents.

The action was in response to the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man fatally shot by white men near Brunswick while on a jog in February; Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was fatally shot by Louisville, Kentucky, police while exercising a no-knock warrant; and George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

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“I am shocked, sickened, and saddened by the shameful ways in which their lives were ended,” said Councilwoman Cristy Lenski. “The challenge for us now is to respond compassionately and effectively, to acknowledge the blind spots we may have, and to engage in meaningful conversations with our diverse community, where we truly listen to one another and build bridges of understanding.”

Protests have been ongoing across the nation for two weeks since Floyd’s death on Memorial Day. Demonstrations have been held in Atlanta and multiple cities in Gwinnett County.

The Snellville resolution declares that the city “stand[s] steadfast with all citizens of Snellville against racism and bigotry and reaffirm[s] its commitment to fighting for justice and human and civil rights for all.” Mayor Barbara Bender and Snellville City Council also started the process of creating a Citizens’ Advisory Council, which will be used to address issues including “race relations when called upon,” according to a city statement.

Multiple other governments, including Cobb County, Acworth and Kennesaw, have also passed resolutions against racism.