BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD)– The officer-involved death of an unarmed Minnesota man has sparked national outrage and debate.
George Floyd’s death was caught on camera by several bystanders. In the viral video a police officer is seen with his knee on Floyd’s neck during an arrest despite cries that he wasn’t able to breathe.
Floyd’s death has resulted in widespread protests in the city of Minneapolis.
On Thursday several local law enforcement officials joined the millions of Americans sharing their opinion on the matter.
Gonzales Police Chief Sherman Jackson said he is “blown away” by the incident. “I think it’s not right to say anything when you don’t know both sides of the story, But from what I observed, It’s quite clear that was a murder,” Jackson said.
Jackson said it’s more important now than ever for police and community leaders to take a stand against injustice. “I’m not claiming I have all the right answers but it’s time to do something,” Jackson said.
In a statement Iberville Sheriff Brett Stassi said he has stayed quiet on national headlines for years but this incident needed to be addressed.
“Sadly, it only takes one officer to destroy the image of our profession and the trust we have worked so hard to build over the years in our parish,” Stassi said.
Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre also chimed in saying no one should be treated like what was seen in the video of Floyd’s death, especially by a police officer.
Chief Jackson is hoping his statement will encourage other law enforcement agencies to start a positive movement to mend the damaged relationship between police and people.
Chief Murphy Paul, Baton Rouge Police said “The unfortunate incidents in Minneapolis are not only trending on social media, but the outrage, anger, questions and conversations have made it’s way to communities across our Nation. As the Chief of Police of Baton Rouge, I share in America’s outrage over the death of Mr. George Floyd. The video of Mr. Floyd’s death is shocking to the conscious. One of our responsibilities as law enforcement officers is the protection of life. Life is so precious! Our training and policies must emphasize de-escalation and the “sanctity of human life.” I condemn the actions of the Minneapolis police officers involved in the incident. No one deserves to be treated in such an inhumane way. Please continue praying for our police officers and we join the nation in praying for the city of Minneapolis and the George Floyd family.”