Local leaders respond to death of George Floyd

Local News

(KSNT) – Local leaders are speaking out in response to the death of George Floyd.

Video shows ex-Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died in custody after pleading that he could not breathe.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly took to Facebook Friday to express her condolences to Floyd’s family.

In part of her statement, she wrote:

We’re not immune to these issues in Kansas, but I have hope that we will use this moment to continue our own conversation about how we can make Kansas a place welcome to everyone – regardless of the color of your skin, who you love or what you believe in – and where no one lives in fear.

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly

You can read Kelly’s full statement below.

Topeka Police Chief Bill Cochran took to Twitter Thursday to talk about the situation. He tweeted Thursday saying the actions that lead to Floyd’s death are “indefensible.”

“As a law enforcement officer who took an oath to serve and protect 33 years ago, I refuse to stay silent about this. We have to do better,” Chief Cochran said in a tweet.

Riley County Police Detective Dennis Butler took to Facebook to issue an open letter to the community.

In part, he said:

I don’t claim to know how everyone in Riley County feels after watching the horrific video of George Floyd in the last moments of his life, but I had the same gut reaction as when Walter Scott was murdered by a police officer in South Carolina and when Ahmed Aubrey was murdered in Georgia by vigilantes and then law enforcement and prosecutors were slow to do their jobs. There’s more examples I could cite.

Dennis Butler, Riley County Police Director

“You should know that we do not teach that arrest tactic and we do not tolerate it. We use an extensive review process for every use of force in response to resistance and every time we warn someone that we will use force,” Butler continued in his statement.

You can read the full statement below.

Manhattan Mayor Usha Reddi also posted a statement on Facebook.

In part, Reddi said:

Right now, I see, hear, and feel the pain from our African-American families. I condemn the senseless, tragic, and brutal death of George Floyd. His death, along with the senseless and tragic deaths of Walter Scott, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Ahmed Aubrey, and so many others could have and should have been prevented.

Usha Reddi, City of Manhattan Mayor

You can read Reddi’s full statement below.

Protestors gathered at Heritage Park in Junction City Friday afternoon. Police Chief John Lamb took to Facebook to thank everyone for a “peaceful gathering.”

He went on to say:

The men and women of the Junction City Police Department are committed to protecting and strengthening the trust with the community. Recognizing that trust has been established and built over many years it only takes one or two negative incidents to have a detrimental impact on the communities’ trust. The members of the Junction City Police want to assure the community that the protection of everyone’s civil and constitutional rights is of the highest priority. The use of excessive and improper force by the JCPD will not be tolerated.

The JCPD is dedicated to maintaining the highest level of integrity and professional service .

Junction City Police Chief John Lamb

You can read the chief’s full statement on Facebook below.

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