Updated: May 30
Chief Wesley Walker President, Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police on Friday released the following statement concerning Monday's death of George Floyd while Floyd was being detained by Minneapolis police:
"We were shocked by the video from Minneapolis. It documents the death of Mr. George Floyd while in police custody. It also documents a death that should not have occurred. It is our desire that a thorough investigation into the incident be conducted by the appropriate state and federal agencies. The investigation and subsequent findings should be driven not by political pressures, but rather the evidence and facts. We want, and expect, the officer(s) to be held accountable for their actions.
Law enforcement officers hold a unique position within our society. They have the power, with or without due process, to deprive a person of their liberty, property, and sometimes, their life. Because of this power, they must be held accountable for their actions. The citizens would not accept anything less, and neither should we.
Police chiefs and police officers across the State of Georgia have invested a great deal of effort to develop and promote community trust of the police. It is never a "one and done" effort, but rather a continuous and purposeful desire to build and strengthen the connection with and the trust of the community we serve. When a very small percentage of law enforcement officers act outside of the law and/or policy and fail to uphold their oaths, it is a negative reflection upon all of us."
An officer held Floyd on the ground by pressing his knee into the man's neck, while detaining Floyd for a fraud investigation
Floyd, who repeatedly told the officer he was unable to breathe eventually became unresponsive and later died at the hospital.
The incident, videoed by a bystander's cellphone, sent shockwaves through the nation, which led to rioting in several cities, including Minneapolis where a police precinct house was burned to the ground.
That officer was fired, and on Friday was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.
Other officers who stood by and did nothing to stop the deadly strangulation were also fired and are expected to be criminally charged.