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Health officials, police association to attend London, Ont. Black Lives Matter rally
A group of artists paint a mural of George Floyd on the wall outside of Cup Foods, where Floyd was killed in police custody, on May 28, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images North America/Getty Images)
LONDON, ONT. -- The Black Lives Matter rally slated for Saturday at London, Ont.’s Victoria Park will be attended by local health officials and the police union.
The associate medical officer of health, Dr. Alex Summers, will be in the park while Dr. Chris Mackie, the Middlesex-London Health Unit’s medical officer of health will watch from a distance.
He says with his colleague in the park, he’ll be there but not among the protesters.
“I’m going to go to the event in my car. I’m going to stay in my car and bring my three daughters to make sure they understand what’s going on. The meaning, what their role is in terms of addressing anti-black racism. And have a fulsome dialogue with them.”
Mackie is asking anyone who goes to the rally to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days.
He strongly recommends people keep a safe distance at the rally and use personal protective equipment to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Police union wants to ‘listen and learn’
In a series of tweets Thursday, London Police Association Executive Director Rick Robson said the group condemns the killing of George Floyd, calling it “brutal” and “criminal.”
He added that members will attend the demonstration this Saturday.
“We want your trust and we hope by attending this peaceful gathering that we are in some very small way demonstrating our desire to earn it through action.”
He added that the hope is to “listen and learn” and “be part of the healing process,” and thanked the organizers for reinforcing the message that it is to be a peaceful demonstration.