ROCHESTER, Minn. - Rochester Mayor Kim Norton says the city is working to ensure the community is safe, welcoming and inclusive for everyone in light of the Chauvin trial verdict.
Norton says she wants to reach out to the community to acknowledge the pain and trauma many people have gone through recently but also reaffirm the city’s commitment to doing better moving forward.
The city has been continuously working to address inequity in Rochester but Norton says staff realize the commitment to action is just beginning.
She says the city promises to address racial inequality in local government at all levels, update city policies, practices and procedures as well as commit to implementing a cultural change within the law enforcement profession, and that’s just the beginning.
Norton explained, “I think we have a strong culture that's centered around people and that's what we're going to continue to build on. We're proud of our department and the changes they're made and I know they'll continue to do their best to work with the community moving ahead.”
She added the issue needs a multifaceted approach, not just the work of law enforcement, to make a difference.
“We already have applied for a number of grants. “We were chosen for the National League of Cities effort to work on economic growth, specific to equity and health, as well as the Bloomberg grants we're applying for right now,” said Norton. “So, no it isn’t just the police department we need to focus in on but we can’t do it alone.”
The city also recently hired the first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion director as part of its efforts to listen, learn and build trust across the community.
You can view the full statement from the city addressing the Chauvin trial verdict by clicking here.