At 10 a.m., June 3, members of the Oak Park police force and village government gathered on the south lawn of village hall for a moment of silence and solidarity for George Floyd, whose death under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer has rocked the nation.
The small crowd of some 20 people, all socially distanced and masked, included Village Manager Cara Pavlicek, Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb and Clerk Vicki Scaman, as well as Trustees Deno Andrews, Susan Buchanan, Simone Boutet, Dan Moroney and Jim Taglia. Deputy Chief of Police Joe Moran and about 10 other officers were present as well.
Two private citizens attended the moment of silence, carrying signs protesting police brutality and supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
Prior to the moment of silence, Buchanan, who co-organized the event with Andrews, removed her mask and read aloud the joint statement released May 31from the mayor, village manager and the chief and deputy chief of the Oak Park Police Department.
“As policymakers, administrators and sworn police officers, we stand for transparency in policing,” the statement reads. “We know the people of Oak Park choose this community, not just as a place to live, but as a way of life and as a place to seek shelter, refuge and acceptance. Oak Park commits itself to equity, diversity and inclusion because these values make us a desirable and strong community for all people.”
The statement also includes a denouncement of racism and discrimination from the Oak Park Police Department:
“The Oak Park Police Department rejects racism and discrimination in all its forms. The men and women who serve our community as sworn officers believe in building trust and strong relationships with our citizens and endorse the values of community policing. We also strive for ever increasing the diversity of our department.”
Everyone, save the two private citizens, took a knee during the moment of silence.