CT State Police statement on the death of George Floyd
The Connecticut State Police released on Monday, June 1, this statement about the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. The letter is signed by Commissioner James C. Rovella and Deputy Commissioner Colonel Stavros Mellekas.
A week ago today, a death occurred in Minneapolis. We in law enforcement are not unfamiliar with death, we see it often in many different forms; but the death of George Floyd was different. The indefensible circumstances of this act were carried out in broad daylight, in the middle of a public street by an individual wearing a badge. This individual swore an oath to protect the members of his community, and failed that most basic duty. It was very apparent that this individual used completely unnecessary, unjustifiable force against someone in handcuffs. In that moment, communities were shattered. This individual does not represent police officers.
We extend our sincere condolences to those who knew and loved George Floyd.
To say we condemn this behavior is accurate, but still, the word “condemn” doesn’t begin to come close to what we’re feeling. We saw what you saw. We watched in disbelief as that individual calling himself a police officer kept his knee on the neck of a human being for almost nine minutes. Why? We’re not trained to do this in our police academies. There was no immediate threat. Those police officers on scene, including those that stood around and did nothing, simply failed. They failed not just on a law enforcement level, but on a basic human level.
We are sad, we are angry and we are disgusted. Sad for George Floyd, his family, friends and the people of Minneapolis. We’re sad for those minority communities whose distrust in us police officers will only grow deeper because of this. Sad for the hundreds of thousands of law enforcement officers who go to work every day and do the right thing, but will now be viewed in the same light as those former officers who evidently betrayed their oath on that Minneapolis street. The damage done from this is immeasurable and will ripple throughout our country, including our Connecticut communities.
We’re disgusted that anyone wearing a police uniform would do what we all saw in that video. We’re angry that the actions of a few will affect all of us. If you wear a badge and aren’t appalled by that what you saw, please turn it in and find a new profession; we don’t need you. For the sake of the community, for the sake of good law enforcement officers everywhere and for the sake of our country, enough is enough.
To our community, please know that we are more than a uniform, we are ordinary people and we stand with you. We anticipate and welcome difficult conversations that will result in progressive changes. Our commitment to public safety remains the same. We will continue to respond to calls for help and keep our streets safe. We will continue to safeguard lives and property in our communities. We will also continue to respect the rights of peaceful protesters and will continue to ensure their safety as we did over the weekend.
Please look out for each other, acknowledge the pain being felt and stay safe.