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June 14: Southfield Unity Day – Kneel to Heal Event

June 14: Southfield Unity Day – Kneel to Heal Event

Southfield, MI -The city of Southfield and Urban Unity CDC will sponsor Southfield Unity Day – Kneel to Heal on Sunday, June 14 from 2-4 p.m. along Evergreen Road.  Participants are asked to meet at the SFLD letters at the Donald Fracassi F. Municipal Campus located at 26000 Evergreen Road.

Attendees are requested to wear facemasks and to stand six feet apart along Evergreen Road to form a symbolic human chain of unity between 10 and 11 Mile Roads. At 3:15 p.m., those that are able are requested to kneel for eight minutes and forty-two seconds to honor the life of George Floyd.

The event is an opportunity for residents to express their sorrow, pain and angst over police officers who have employed excessive and deadly force, systematic racism, voter suppression, lack of equal pay, fair housing, equal opportunity and protection under the law.

“The City of Southfield collectively grieves and calls for justice,” commented Mayor Kenson Siver. “We are better than this, as a nation and a community. Southfield Unity Day gives us all the opportunity to stand together Southfield Strong united in the fight for equal justice and rights under the law. We kneel in solidarity with those demanding reform as we condemn police use of excessive lethal force.”

The Southfield City Council & Mayor adopted the “Our Sorrow and Determination for a More Equal and Just Society” Joint Resolution on June 8 to join in the call by former President Obama to do everything in our power “to recognize and root out the tragic, painful, maddening effects of systemic racism.” Southfield elected officials have also continued to support training for our police officers as well as departmental policies and practices that de-escalate tense situations and avoid the use of deadly force.

Police Duty to Intervene Policy

In response to the murder of Mr. Floyd, the Southfield Police Department has revised its ‘Use of Force’ policy under the direction of Chief of Police Elvin Barren. The policy amendment entitled Duty to Intervene requires every sworn employee present at any scene to stop another sworn employee when force is being inappropriately applied or is no longer required. This is an important step in addressing and correcting any implicit or lingering bias in community policing.

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