Premier Scott Moe said during a press conference on Tuesday, June 2 that there’s no place for racism in Saskatchewan as a peaceful protest took place outside the legislature.
“There is no place for racism in this province and we will continue to work with whomever we can to get that message out and to reaffirm to people,” said Moe. “We’ve had our challenges here but we will continue to work with the people of this province to ensure that it is a better place.”
Hundreds gathered outside of the Saskatchewan Legislature to protest police brutality and racial inequality amid the death of George Floyd in the U.S. Moe was not in attendance, but said he commended those who were making their voices heard.
“They have the support of virtually everyone, including myself, in addressing what is a societal challenge not just in Saskatchewan, but across North America,” said Moe. “I have all the respect in the world for them as individuals for communicating the message that racism is not alright and black lives do matter.”
The aim of the protest was to support the Black Lives Matter movement and featured speakers which included many community leaders and activists along with Speaker of the Legislature, Mark Docherty and NDP deputy leader, Nicole Sarauer.
The rally came on the heels of civil unrest in the U.S. Many cities across the country sparked into riots as people protested police brutality.
The case of Floyd has been said to be the straw the broke the camels back when it came to racial injustice, especially in the U.S. where Floyd died in police custody during an arrest on May 25, which was caught on video.
The video showed three officers, one with his knee planted on Floyd’s neck, as he pleaded for the officers to stop. Floyd was initially arrested for allegedly using a fake $20 at a local convenience store.
Derek Chauvin, the officer seen in the video with his knee on Floyd’s neck, was arrested on May 29 and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s murder.
Floyd’s family called for a first-degree murder charge and for the other three officers in the video to be arrested and charged. It was not long after the announcement of the arrest that global riots and protests started taking place.