A half-dozen local law enforcement leaders in Douglas County issued a joint statement Saturday denouncing the actions of a former white Minneapolis police officer accused of murdering a handcuffed man last week by applying a knee to his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Chauvin’s arrest came four days after a cell phone video showed him with his knee on the neck of George Floyd, a black man who had been arrested on suspicion of passing a fake $20 bill.
Chauvin and three other officers involved in the arrest were fired from the department. The incident sparked protests, rioting and outcry in numerous cities across the nation, including Portland and Eugene.
The statement issued by the local law enforcement officials Saturday reads as follows:
“We stand together, as a unified body of local law enforcement leaders in Douglas County, to denounce the actions and improper tactics utilized in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As criminal justice officers we, and those in our employ, are charged to serve humankind and to provide for the security of our communities. We take seriously the oaths we swore and the ethics that guide our profession. The incident in Minneapolis is not reflective of the values we regard and seek to uphold in our respective jurisdictions. It is our resolve to continue serving our communities with a strong ethical and moral compass while earning your trust and respect on a daily basis.”
The statement was signed by Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin, Roseburg Police Chief Gary Klopfenstein, Winston Police Chief Brandon Sarti, Myrtle Creek Police Chief Jonathan Brewster, Sutherlin Police Chief Troy Mills and Reedsport Police Chief Matt Smart.