Jersey City declares May 25 as 'Black Lives Matter Day'

JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (WABC) -- Jersey City is declaring May 25 as "Black Lives Matter Day" in honor of George Floyd, who was killed in police custody on that day in Minneapolis, sparking protests and unrest around the nation.

City Councilman Jermaine Robinson introduced the resolution, which approved last Wednesday, to create a day commemorating the Black Lives Matter movement after thousands of people in Jersey City have taken to the streets.

"May 25th was the day the world took notice that black lives mattered," he said. "No one really understood it except us. And so May 25 became the day that everyone understood that black lives matter and make sure that this goes down in history. Every year on May 25, we will be celebrating in Jersey City."

Robinson says it will be a day to encourage residents to work to end systemic racism and white supremacy and to remember all of those who lost their lives as victims of racism throughout the country.

"It came to me after days of protests and being very concerned with what was going on in the country," he said. "And then I started to see it more and more around the world."

A veto-proof majority of the Minneapolis City Council has pledged to disband and reconstruct that city's police force, while officers in New York, Georgia and other jurisdictions now face criminal charges for their roles in assaulting peaceful protesters.

And in a display of unity and support for demonstrators, Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser had the words "Black Lives Matter" painted as a mural along two city blocks.

"This action to observe May 25 eternally in Jersey City is our way of joining the national movement to heal black communities and to publicly denounce police brutality," Robinson said. "Black lives are valuable, and we must continuously fight for ongoing justice and equality in Jersey City to make sure Black people in the city are seen, heard and supported."

Robinson hopes it will move on to be adopted at the state level, and ultimately become a day that is recognized nationally.

"I hope that George Floyd's family understands that we are doing something in Jersey City to keep his legacy living forever," he said.

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