Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted on resolutions related to the in-custody death of George Floyd and local policing policies on Tuesday.
Two resolutions introduced by Supervisor Chair Manuel Perez were debated at length Tuesday morning.
The first passing with three votes, condemns the in custody death of George Floyd. A symbolic move leaders have made across the nation.
“It demonstrates to Minneapolis and the world that we care and we will not tolerate it moving forward," says Perez.
His second resolution sought to initiate a 90-day review of Riverside County Sheriff’s policies and training. Perez says his constituents are asking to be included in the dialogue around policing and he believes this is the first step to address centuries of institutional racism.
"And so I’m not pointing fingers here. It’s not about that. This is about how we can come together and sit at the table and figure things out,” says Perez.
Both Riverside County Sheriff’s Association President Bill Young and Sheriff Chad Bianco disagreed with the resolution calling it political. Bianco said the resolution is a waste of time and distracts from community engagement given the review of department policies he ordered when he took office in 2019.
“This overwhelmingly implies we are doing something wrong and someone needs to fix it,” says Bianco.
Supervisor Chuck Washington, the only African American member of the board, called for a recognition of systemic racism in the country.
“Let us do this together now and not let another decade or two go by until another catastrophe happens and we all come together. This is our moment to make history. Let us not waste this opportunity," says Washington.
During the public comment period, leaders and members of the Black community called for racism to be declared a public health emergency and for an African American task force to be formed to address systemic racism.
The measure ultimately failed after Sheriff Bianco explained he has plans in the works to form an advisory council and he apologized for not doing it sooner.
He will provide the board with an update on July 7.