Cops across the country have spoken out about the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody. Many police officers, chiefs, and sheriffs have vehemently condemned the actions of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was caught on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck and was arrested Friday, as well as the other ex-cops involved in the case.
“There is no need to see more video,” David Roddy, the police chief in Chattanooga, Tennessee, tweeted. “There is no need to wait to see how ‘it plays out.’ There is no need to put a knee on someone’s neck for NINE minutes. There IS a need to DO something. If you wear a badge and you don’t have an issue with this…turn it in.”
“Not going hide behind ‘not being there.’ I’d be one of the first to condemn anyone had I seen similar happen to one of my brother/sister officers,” San Jose (California) Chief of Police Eddie Garcia tweeted. “What I saw happen to George Floyd disturbed me and is not consistent with the goal of our mission. The act of one, impacts us all.”
“SJPD Academy #37 just received one of the most important lessons of their academy,” Garcia added. “The action and inaction we’ve all witnessed this week will not be tolerated. Your community needs and supports you…that is a precious gift. Treat it as such.”
“I serve with honor, in an honorable profession filled with men and women working hard every day to do the right thing. That said, no one is above the law,” Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said.
“It was difficult to watch Mr. Floyd pleading for help and gasping for breath before saying his final words — all while pedestrians frantically pleaded with officers to help him,” Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert said. “I simply cannot comprehend the actions of the officers or their lack of moral courage and duty to intervene and stop the action before it was too late.
“There was no consideration for the value of human life and that is inexcusable,” Schubert continued. “These officers don’t represent any of us in law enforcement and must face the consequences for their actions.”
“I am deeply disturbed by the video of Mr. Floyd being murdered in the street with other officers there letting it go on,” Polk County, Georgia, Sheriff Johnny Moats wrote on Facebook. “I can assure everyone, me or any of my deputies will never treat anyone like that as long as I’m Sheriff. This kind of brutality is terrible and it needs to stop. All Officers involved need to be arrested and charged immediately. Praying for the family.”
“What we saw in Minnesota was deeply disturbing. It was wrong,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea wrote Thursday. “We must take a stand and address it. We must come together, condemn these actions and reinforce who we are as members of the NYPD. This is not acceptable ANYWHERE.”
“This is heart-wrenching and we must be better than this or these senseless deaths will continue to occur,” Austin (Texas) Police Chief Brian Manley wrote. “#GeorgeFloyd was telling officers he could not breathe but to no avail. As law enforcement professionals, we must do better in service to our communities!”
“The death of #GeorgeFloyd occurred in Minneapolis, but these tragic encounters between officers and residents have occurred in too many cities across the country, including Fort Worth,” Fort Worth (Texas) Chief Ed Kraus tweeted. “We must serve more compassionately, and intervene when we see our own acting inappropriately.”
“When you see the video there are so many emotions that run through me,” Dallas Chief of Police Renee Hall said. “Our entire police department and command staff stand with Chief [Medaria] Arradondo and his decision to terminate.”
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo issued a statement on behalf of the Major Cities Chief Association, an organization of police executives representing the largest cities in the U.S. and Canada, that said: “We strongly condemn the actions that led to the death of #GeorgeFloyd and stand with Chief Arradondo and good police officers throughout our nation. We pray for the Floyd family and for community peace.”
“We must hold our officers accountable to protect our communities and each other from danger,” the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the largest association of minority law enforcement leaders focused on policing and public safety, said. “NOBLE and law enforcement agencies across the country are left to ask, how do we collectively strengthen public trust, when trust in fact has been breached?”
Anthony Johnson, an Ohio police officer known as the “dancing cop,” said: “Let me start this by saying… I AM SORRY.”
“On behalf of every good cop out there… we apologize. If you have ever been mistreated by the police… we are sorry. I’m sorry you had to experience what you did… I’m sorry you had to see what you seen… feel what you felt… and live with the trauma caused by the those actions,” Johnson wrote on Instagram. “Please accept this apology and know that those officers DO NOT speak for the majority of us.
“To every police officer reading this. Please understand people’s frustration and anger towards you during these times. I know these officers actions do not define who you are… but we wear the same uniform,” Johnson told his fellow officers. “We have to be the light right now. We have to show people that we can be trusted more now than ever. Keep your chin high… stay safe… and remind yourself why you took this job.
“To everyone who is not a police officer. Know that we do NOT stand with the so called ‘officers’ who tarnish our badge. I can proudly tell you I am yet to speak to an officer who even attempted to justify that video,” Johnson explained. “I understand your frustration and anger… I am angry as well. Use that energy to appropriately effect change. Rioting and looting will solve nothing. These are businesses that someone worked hard to establish… businesses that more than likely had nothing to do with the incident or incidents. These are OUR communities we are burning down. Let’s stand for justice together… let’s pray for change together… Stay prayed up… and stay safe.”
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