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State College Mayor Ron Filippelli Issues Statement Following George Floyd’s Death

State College Mayor Ron Filippelli issued a statement Sunday afternoon condemning George Floyd’s death and encouraging the borough’s citizens to speak out and take action against intolerance and racial injustice.

“On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, an African American man was killed by a Minneapolis police officer. His death was unnecessary, cruel, and criminal,” Filippelli wrote. “It is one more act of violence against African Americans that serves as another chilling reminder about the inequities and injustices that continues to exist in our country. This tragic event reminds us that life in America is very different for African-Americans and other underrepresented and disenfranchised groups.”

Filippelli continued, adding “systematic racism” in the United States still exists to this day and can’t, and more importantly shouldn’t, be ignored.

“Persons of color continue to endure discrimination and other mistreatment by police and others in this country that all should find outrageous and which should be condemned by all. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best, ‘In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends,'” Filippelli wrote.

“I will not be silent on this issue and hope there is a groundswell of citizens of all races, especially white persons, who not only speak out against racism but take action to make our community one that is accepting, tolerant, inclusive, and just for all persons regardless of race, religion, creed, color, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, or mental or physical disability,” Filippelli wrote.

The mayor commended those who’ve protested and spoken up around the country following Floyd’s death and other similar incidents.

“As they protest these incidents and share their stories, we must be supportive, listen, and learn what more we can do individually and corporately to help address the systemic inequities that have existed for many, many years and no doubt, continue to be present,” Filippelli wrote. “This is not just a Minneapolis, MN or Louisville, KY or Brunswick, GA issue but an issue for State College and every other community across this country. Now more than ever we must speak out and take appropriate action against these inequities and injustices.”

Floyd, an unarmed black man, was killed while in police custody on May 25 in Minneapolis. His death sparked protests, rallies, and riots throughout the nation, including one in State College earlier Sunday.

Filippelli is the latest local leader to respond to Floyd’s death. Penn State football head coach James Franklin and university President Eric Barron both released statements of their own Saturday. Penn State baseball coach Rob Cooper took a different approach and announced the team would retire No. 5, Floyd’s basketball number in college, for the 2021 season.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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