FAIRBORN — Fairborn’s police chief is speaking out against the actions of Minneapolis police in George Floyd’s death.
Floyd, a handcuffed African-American man, died Monday when a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck, pinning him to the ground for at least eight minutes as he pleaded for air, the Associated Press reported. Derek Chauvin, the former officer, was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Three other officers reportedly witnessed the incident and did not intervene.
“After watching the video of the officer’s actions in Minneapolis, I am saddened, disgusted, and angry,” Fairborn Police Chief Terry Bennington wrote in a community letter. “I am saddened for George Floyd and his family; the actions of the officers involved were criminal without question. What happened to Mr. Floyd should never happen to anyone and goes against all of the training officers receive and basic human dignity.”
Bennington went on to say that the involved officers, who “once again smeared the hard work and reputation of the overwhelming majority of caring, hardworking officers of this country,” should be held accountable for their actions.
The local police chief admitted law enforcement isn’t perfect — and the community’s trust is earned on a daily basis.
“When someone violates that trust, we as a profession must also speak up and condemn those actions,” he continued. “To not do so further erodes the public trust and makes a hard job that much harder.”
Bennington closed the letter by urging residents to not judge all officers by the action of few.
“The men and women of the Fairborn Police Department will continue to work with the community to solve problems peacefully and respectfully,” he said. “We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Floyd.”