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Posted on: March 17, 2021

Actively Standing Against Discrimination and Racism

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Statement by the City of Falls Church City Council in Solidarity with the Asian American Community (March 2021)

"We join the City of Falls Church community and people everywhere in mourning the victims of the horrific shootings in Atlanta that occurred this week. This attack comes amid a disturbing nationwide rise in violence directed against members of the Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander community, exacerbated by misinformation and xenophobia around COVID-19. We condemn these recent acts of violence, but also the discrimination and stereotyping that has for too long harmed Asian American lives and impoverished our society.

"The City is proud to host one of the largest and most vibrant Asian commercial centers in the country. The many and diverse members of Asian American community who live or work here are a vital source of creativity and strength for our City and our region. Our very future depends on ensuring that people of all backgrounds, ethnicity, and race are able to flourish fully here and across America. In the coming weeks, the City will be launching enhanced efforts to engage and support our AAPI community and businesses.

"The City of Falls Church is committed to promoting a more inclusive and equitable society in all our work in the community, from our police department, public schools, public library, and in all City programs and services. Hate, violence, and bias have no home here. Each of us has a personal responsibility to prevent misinformation, condemn violence, and unite to stand up for all fellow community members. We mourn for the victims in Atlanta, we pledge our renewed and ongoing commitment to work for a better future, and we stand in solidarity with all who contribute to the beautiful and vibrant diversity of our City, our region, and our country."

Use of Force Review Committee Established by City Council (Updated February 2021)

The City Council created the Use of Force Review Committee (UFRC) in July 2020 to review the City of Falls Church Police Department and Sheriff’s Office use of force policies and procedures, engage the community to gain insight into their experiences, report the findings of the review and community experiences, and make recommendations for changes to use of force policies and procedures. At the February 22, 2021 City Council meeting, the committee presented the final report.

The formation of the UFRC is the first step of the Commit to Action pledge created by former President Barack Obama, and signed by Mayor David Tarter with the support of City Council and Police Chief Mary Gavin. See the full news release on the Use of Force Committee here.

Mayor Signs "Commit to Action Pledge" with Support from City Council and Police Chief (June 2020)

City of Falls Church Mayor David Tarter signed Former President Obama’s Mayor’s Pledge calling for mayors, city councils, and police oversight bodies to address police use of force policies. At their June 8 meeting, the City Council voted unanimously to join the Mayor in taking this pledge. The pledge includes a commitment to:

  • REVIEW police use of force policies;
  • ENGAGE your communities by including a diverse range of input, experiences, and stories in your review;
  • REPORT the findings of your review to your community and seek feedback;
  • REFORM your community’s police use of force policies. 

More information: www.obama.org/mayor-pledge. See the City’s full news release here.

Statements on Racism and the Murder of George Floyd (June 2020)

The City Council and City Manager provide a joint statement below, followed by a statement from Mary Gavin, Chief of Police.

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