Rome’s Mayor, Police Chief Issue Statement Condeming George Floyd Killing
Rome's mayor and police chief issued a joint statement on Wednesday condeming the actions of the four now-former Minneapolis police officers involved in the death of Geroge Floyd last month.
The statement (below) from Mayor Jackie Izzo and Police Chief Kevin Beach calls the actions of arresting officer Derek Chauvin 'abhorrent', and goes on to say the lack of action by three officers who stood by and watched was 'equally as egregious'.
“The city of Rome and the Rome Police Department do not condone and condemn the actions utilized by officers in the arrest of Mr. George Floyd. Mr. Floyd’s life was needlessly taken from him and his family in what should have been a routine arrest. The brutality displayed by the arresting officer was abhorrent and cannot ever be tolerated as routine by a police agency. Equally as egregious were the officers who stood and watched this incident take place and did nothing to intervene. They too should be arrested and charged as Minnesota law dictates. The City of Rome authorizes thousands of dollars each year in training to assist officers in the correct techniques of detainment and respect when an arrest occurs. Our prayers are with the Floyd family, and we will continue to support peaceful, respectful protests in our city against this type of police action. These protests have taken place at the Rome Police Station and we will continue to show our support so the message will carry on and be heard that this type of police activity will not be tolerated and all of us need to respect the sanctity of life and the rights of individuals who are detained into custody.”
The statement references protests in Rome, including one Monday afternoon outside the Rome Police Department, saying ''we will continue to support peaceful, respectful protests in our city against this type of police action.''
Chauvin is the officer who was seen on video pressing his knee into Floyd's neck for several minutes, and continuing even after the man became incapacitated. Chauvin was originally charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. However, on Wednesday the criminal complaint against him was amended to include an additional charge of second-degree murder. The new charge carries a maximum sentence of 40-years in prison.
Meanwhile, the other three officers present as the horrific scene played out were officially charged Wednesday with aiding and abetting second-degree murder, and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. If convicted, the three officers could each face a decade behind bars.
All four were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department after video of the incident went public.