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Police Chief's Response to George Floyd Incident
The following is a message from Chesapeake Chief of Police K. L. Wright to all sworn personnel.
As law enforcement officers, we work diligently to protect the community. We have been appointed to perform tasks that are not entrusted to any other governmental entity nor members of society. With this brings great responsibility and requires trust from the people who believe we are acting in their best interest and in accordance with the law.
Furthermore our actions should be tempered with compassion, guided by justice, and proportional to the prevailing conditions.
What we witnessed in the horrible video that captures the death of Mr. George Floyd runs counter to all that we in law enforcement stand for. More than that, it offends us to our core as human beings who hold all life as precious. I am profoundly dismayed that in 2020 such an event can occur. We in law enforcement, working in conjunction with the people of the communities we serve, strive day by day to improve the manner in which we interact with one another. Forging relationships built upon trust, civic engagement, open dialogue; all with the ultimate goal to facilitate change. Change is needed in the way we have traditionally provided police services and more importantly, how we have policed and engaged disenfranchised and minority communities.
Although much progress has been made, much more work remains to be done. We must continue to be accessible, reliable, and committed to delivering the best possible services. I marvel at the work that each of you do and commend you for your commitment to the way in which we do policing in Chesapeake. Clearly, the actions of the police officers in Minneapolis did not serve Mr. Floyd nor the community at all. I am encouraged that all of the conversations I have had with some of you recognize that what occurred was in the simplest terms "wrong." Let's be honest, years ago, police officers would not dare publicly criticize the actions of other police no matter how egregious. As I have always taught, "remaining silent to wrongdoing makes us accomplices and calls into question where our loyalties lie."
You all have shown fidelity to the law and to justice. As a law enforcement agency, you all embody the principles of President Obama's 21st Century Policing report. Let us continue in good works. Let us not be deterred, but increase our efforts to be better today than we were yesterday. Let us continue establishing meaningful relationships with citizens and making life better for others. And always, let us stand up for what is right.
Finally, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."