protest

A woman addresses demonstrators from the back of pickup parked outside Lancaster city police headquarters on June 2, 2020, the fourth night of protests.

While police brutality protests spurred by the death of George Floyd continue in Lancaster city and around the world, how have Lancaster city’s lawmakers responded?

Here is a rundown of their responses so far. 

Rep. Mike Sturla

Rep. Mike Sturla has not yet issued a statement about Floyd’s death or the daily protests in his district, but said he will likely issue one soon.

“I don’t think the response for George Floyd’s death and the abuse that black and brown people have suffered for years is something that can be solved with a tweet or a Facebook post,” Sturla said.

Sturla said he participated in a Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus kneel in honor of Floyd earlier this week.

“The unfortunate part, even if I issue [a statement], it’s not like that issue has been taken care of already,” he added. 

He said there is a need for people to “sustain that effort,” which he said he plans to do.

Sturla said he would join the protests if he saw the protesters social distancing and wearing masks, he may join the protesters.

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker

U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker issued a statement Monday, in which he said he supports the rights of “those who feel attacked and disenfranchised to carry out nonviolent protests.”

Smucker condemned the vandalism and destruction of private property and public monuments. 

“We cannot allow this necessary expression of our God-given rights to be abused by extremists who are taking advantage of the current civil unrest to loot and destroy our communities,” Smucker added.

Several protesters have been arrested, but Lancaster city’s protests remain overall peaceful, excluding Sunday when protesters were pepper sprayed by police after a water bottle with cayenne pepper was thrown at the officers.

“To be clear, George Floyd’s death was senselessly tragic, and the actions by the police were disgusting and disturbing,” Smucker said. “We must all come together -- law enforcement and entire communities -- to rebuild trust and our neighborhoods.” 

Smucker also applauded law enforcement officers for serving their communities and joining in police protests to show “that such police brutality will not be condoned.”

Sen. Scott Martin

Sen. Scott Martin issued a statement on Thursday to LNP | LancasterOnline about Floyd’s death and the ongoing protests in his district.

“Like all Lancaster Countians, I was sickened by the circumstances of George Floyd’s tragic death and want to see the officers involved held accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” Martin said.

Martin said he supports the peaceful protesters. Protesters have been gathered across the street from his district office since Saturday to protest the Lancaster city police.

“Like all Lancaster Countians, I also believe that those who pervert the cause behind these protests by inciting or committing violence against fellow citizens or law enforcement or engage in the destruction or looting of property must be held accountable in our justice system,” Martin added.

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