At last night's city council meeting, the first held since the death of George Floyd and massive nationwide protests his murder has sparked, the city’s Mayor and Council delivered powerful remarks to the public affirming the need to take action to address systemic issues of racism and police brutality that have long plagued the country.
Mayor John Labrosse opened the meeting with a statement demonstrating the urgency to take action now, "We all must do what we can to confront the systemic challenges in our society and forge a better path forward. We owe it to ourselves, our children and future generations to get this right.”
Mayor Labrosse also publicly accepted the "Mayor's Pledge," a call from former President Barack Obama for Mayors, City Councils, and police oversight bodies to take action to review and address the use of force issues within their police departments.
"Recognizing the urgency of this moment, I'm proud to announce that I will be accepting former president Obama's Mayor's Pledge to review use of force policies,” said Mayor Labrosse. “We will be announcing more steps soon, but I hope that this action will make it clear to everyone that we are listening, and we want to work together on this important issue."
The "Mayor's Pledge" is an advocacy initiative by the Obama Foundation and the My Brother's Keeper Alliance, calling on mayors across the county to commit to the following actions:
Reviewing the police use of force policies in their municipalities.
Engaging the community by including a diverse range of input, experiences, and stories in your review.
Report the findings of the review to the community and seek feedback.
Reform the communities' use of force policies.
Deputy Mayor David Sims praised the steps taken by the Mayor and his fellow council members saying, "I thank my fellow City Council members for recognizing the importance of joining in peaceful protest on Saturday. That was a great moment for our community, and it was inspiring to see so many people take to the streets to make their voices heard. I also want to thank the Hackensack Police Department for letting those voices be heard and keeping the event peaceful and productive.”