06/01/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/01/2020 18:51
JOHNSON CITY, TENN. - Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn) released the following statement following a weekend of nationwide protests:
'Let's be clear - George Floyd was murdered in broad daylight. Mr. Floyd's family has every reason to demand justice for the reckless actions that led to their beloved family member losing his life. Those responsible for this tragedy must be brought to account.
'Every day, I see the hard work our police officers do in East Tennessee. I am confident that they want officers like this who engage in wrongdoing brought to justice for their actions. The overwhelming majority of officers are men and women of the highest character who do an incredible job protecting and serving our communities every day.
'The First Amendment gives Americans the right to peaceful protest, and many protests over the weekend were indeed nonviolent - including protests right here in East Tennessee. With that said, rioting, looting, and arson are not free speech. Seeing the wanton destruction being caused by some protestors who appear bent on nothing more than anarchy is deeply upsetting. In our very own capitals of Nashville and Washington, D.C., we've seen historic buildings burned and businesses destroyed. For generations, veterans of all ages, races, and creeds have fought under the American flag for freedom, liberty, and justice for all and in defense of the rights enshrined in our constitution, including the right to peacefully assemble. The vandalizing that occurred last night at the World War II Memorial and other sites dedicated to those veterans is an affront to them. This destruction cannot continue, and I strongly support restoring the peace.
'Tonight, we should all pray for peace - peace for the family of George Floyd, peace in our communities, and peace for those whose hearts are troubled by everything that has occurred over the past week.'