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.

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(12) comments


S please show my subtle racism just don’t say it. If you are going to hint that any of my statement was racism please show directly where that is. I have news for you, it just might surprise you what my ethnicity is. But once again if a person has an opinion and it doesn’t fall in line with yours they are racist. S don’t ever reference me as racist and if you would like to meet so you can see what color my skin is I would be perfectly ok with that. But I will say an apology would need to be delivered immediately or you wouldn’t get a hug from me. s post makes me sick, you my friend is what is wrong with America. I did denounce what Kapernick was trying to say, it was how he chose to say it during our National Anthem. I happen to know first hand what that flag means, as most of you don’t. Kapernick had the chance to change his style once he knew how the majority felt, and to really focus on what he was trying to say but he couldn’t swallow his pride and admit he did it in a way that offended our nation. It is easier for some of you to yell racism at people then to realize there is always more to the story. If you want to meet and apologize let me know, but don’t do this so you can say you have an AA friend. Sorry to anyone I have offended but to characterized as racist is absolutely appalling to me. Not because of my skin color but because of the type a person I am.


Mike I have set back and watched as you have tracked the information on Covid-19. Your info seems to be on point and backed up by facts, which is nice these days. You have lost me with saying Kate Brown is an effective leader. She has tried to force feed Oregonians legislation that has been voted down. All because she feels the voters are wrong. That is not good leadership that is an egomaniac who thinks she is smarter than the rest. Secondly, when you showed skepticism to our LE leaders questioning if they stood behind what they had wrote. Why is it so hard pat someone on the back and say “Thank You “ when they do something good. The thought that any of our leaders should and would want to be compared to kapernick is appalling. Here was a man with millions of dollars that could have been donated to a great cause, but instead he chose to tear the nation apart to draw attention to himself, a true POC. Course these are just my opinions and they could be wrong. Let the liberals condemn me for having opinions


I don't believe I said Governor Brown is an “effective leader.” Maybe you can point me to where I said that. I didn't vote for her and believe many of her policies to be detrimental to Oregonian's quality of life and still wouldn’t vote for her. It was my mistake if I wrote that somewhere.

I believe I wrote Governor Brown has shown "good leadership" by removing the director of the Employment Department for its failures rather than blaming workers at a lower level. I’ve also previously written Governor Brown showed “good leadership” quickly addressing coronavirus where many other leaders have waffled and been afraid to issue stay-home orders. Her quick action, while unpopular to many, saved lives. How many, we'll never know for sure. But we can get somewhat of an idea by looking at Brazil and Sweden which both refused to institute stay-home orders and are seeing soaring per capita death counts, especially among the older age groups.

All of us can probably do better to pat people on the back for doing something good. I know I can. But to infer I don't ever do so is an inaccurate portrayal, and combined with putting incorrect words in my mouth, causes me to wonder about your agenda.

Regarding Law Enforcement, let me be clear with my opinion. Law Enforcement caused the protests. It was LE's poor treatment of people that has caused an uproar in our Country during the middle of a pandemic. I didn't specifically say it was "our LE leaders" who are to blame. And I don't think they had a choice but to say something. I just think police chiefs and sheriffs nationwide denouncing an obvious murder is lame. "Our LE leaders" can do better to fix this longtime wrong. I know this to be true because there are numerous examples of other LE leaders doing exactly that, taking the next step to lead by example and maybe begin the healing.

Regarding "Kapernick is appalling," would it have been less appalling if Kapernick had been a meager water boy on the sideline who took a knee and not some "man with millions of dollars?" His stance he demonstrated multiple times on national TV took way more guts than what I suggested our LE should do. Our LE has the opportunity to be leaders on an issue far greater than securing our community. It’s up to them to want to lead.


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Chargers coach Anthony Lynn talks Colin Kaepernick, 'People completely misunderstood Colin and what he was trying to do. People talked about disrespecting the flag . . . the flag covers a lot -patriotism and civil rights and other things. And Colin was speaking out against the injustice and a lot of people didn't catch on to that because it was happening during the national anthem. They thought it was disrespectful to the flag. I was surprised by the number of people who didn't know why he was protesting. I got letters from people. I had people walk up to me and ask, "Coach, what are you going to do if someone on your team protests?" And I had to explain to them that Colin is taking a knee for criminal justice [reform] and police brutality and once you broke it down, they were like, "Oh, we didn't know that. We thought he was protesting the flag." And that was the case for a lot of people I came across.'



This post here from Buligajo is a perfect example of the not-so-subtle racism that is alive and well and wide-spread in this community. And the people are right to question elected officials. Words without action are just that. Words. Standing in the street and expressing outrage without any intention of doing something about racism is just empty rhetoric. Racism is not a liberal or conservative issue . . . it is a human issue.


Denouncing the horrible death of a face down, handcuffed, unarmed black man at the hands of four police officers is easy. That's nothing more than a publicity stunt being performed by every police official nationwide. What takes guts is for each of you local police officials to take a knee, Colin Kaepernick style, during one of your local city protests to to show your commitment to preventing unchecked police brutality against people of color in each of your communities. Emulate the African-American man who sacrificed his career, ironically by taking a knee, for protesting peacefully to seek change. Do that and you will have my respect and appreciation.


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Glad to see this. I hope, and believe, that it is not merely pro forma. My own interactions with police in Roseburg, and with deputies out in the county have all been positive--but I'm an old white guy, and not the least bit physically threatening.


I’m white. Similar to where I live today in Oregon, there were few people of color where I grew up in Minnesota. The first African-American I ever spoke to was in my high school, one year ahead of me. He was the adopted son of two white school teachers who lived in the community. He was my friend. Thinking back, I can't remember if he was treated any differently than the rest of us kids. But he must have been. I say this because my father was a severe bigot. And at the time, I thought that was normal. That was just the way things were and little has changed in my opinion. When I got older, I asked my father about it and he couldn’t explain his prejudice other than leave me with the impression he was afraid of “them n-words.” I didn't understand it because, in my eyes, my father was someone not afraid of anyone or anything.

Over the forty year course of my work, I’ve lived in many places in the U.S. I’ve lived at least two years each in Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, LA (twice), Baton Rouge, New York City and San Francisco before finally settling in Oregon. I’ve lived with, worked with, and dated several different races and ethnicities. I’ve also witnessed various levels and forms of racism, most unnoticeable to people who claim they are not prejudiced. I find this both interesting because I don’t understand it and also disgusting.

“I’m not prejudiced. That’s what other people do.” In my opinion, that’s the belief of most white Americans and it breaks my heart to say that belief is especially prevalent among us Oregonians. Of all the places I’ve lived, some of the most common and sometimes horrible acts of racism I’ve witnessed have occurred here in Oregon during the last ten years I’ve lived here. You may find that surprising considering how relatively few people of color live in our community. And maybe that’s why their different treatment is so noticeable to me. And maybe that’s why people who don't care or don’t think it’s a problem, are the problem.


My wife and I drove by Fred Meyer today and witnessed approximately 100 people demonstrating with signs and yells against Minnesota law enforcement's murder of George Floyd. Many people were honking their horns as they drove by in their cars. I only saw one African-American in the group. The rest were white.

There was a much smaller group of people set up on the opposite side of the street which I assume were counter protesters.

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