My heart is heavy as I write this message to you all. Like all of you, I am deeply saddened and angered by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, as with the death of so many other African-American citizens as a result of police brutality, and never forgetting Kiwane Carrington who was killed right here in our own backyard. It is sometimes especially difficult to witness for those of us who work within the court system to see the miscarriage of justice. But we are called to recognize injustice and work to erase it wherever we see it.
For those of you who are grieving, and scared, and angry: I see you, my heart hurts for you, and I am so very sorry. I know there is nothing I can say that can take the pain away, but I also know that silence is not an option. I know that I have my own work to do to constantly hold myself accountable for my actions, and I hope that you will call out my failings as you see them.
In the Champaign County Circuit Clerk’s Office, we are committed to providing every resident of Champaign County with improved access to justice. We also affirm that #BlackLivesMatter.
My friends and neighbors, when you are hurting, I hurt with you. I was born here in Champaign County, and I love this community. During today’s protest at the Champaign County courthouse, I will be there. Yes, to stand in solidarity with you, but mostly to listen.
Katie M. Blakeman
Champaign County Circuit Clerk