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Southfield — Banners promoting racial justice and unity went up Thursday along Evergreen Road in Southfield, in a "show of solidarity and support," the city said.

The signs, which carry the slogans "Black Lives Matter" and "Southfield Strong," were installed by city workers between 10 Mile and 11 Mile and come in the wake of protests across Metro Detroit, including in Southfield, and nationwide following the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd during a police incident May 25.

In a news release, the city said the black and red banners are the latest in a series of initiatives to support equality and justice. They include a directive from police Chief Elvin Barren requiring officers at any scene to stop another officer "when force is being inappropriately applied or is no longer required."

Video footage showed Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin pinning his knee against Floyd's neck for more than eight minutes. Charges have been filed against him and three other officers who were at the scene.

“Black lives DO matter! They matter because they are our children, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, friends and neighbors," Lloyd Crews, president of Southfield City Council, said in a statement. "They matter because the injustices faced by some are felt by us all! We are better than this, as a nation and a community. The city of Southfield stands together Southfield Strong united in the fight for peace and justice.”

In the news release, the city said a "Black Men Unite Peaceful Protest" is planned from 2-4 p.m. Sunday from Hope United Methodist Church to the Donald F. Fracassi Municipal Campus.

The event will include a voter registration drive and participants will be encouraged to complete the 2020 U.S. Census form if they have not done so already. 

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