QUINCY - Angry American citizens are amplifying the call for justice and equality after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Floyd died in the custody of a Minneapolis police officer early last week.
The widespread public display of protest across the country is prompting police officials to publicly respond to what happened leading up to George Floyd’s demise. Many police officials are denouncing the actions of the officers who handled George Floyd’s arrest. Floyd suffocated to death as a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck. George Floyd’s arrest was prompted by a convenience store worker who accused Floyd of purchasing a pack of cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill.
The following public statements were released by the police chiefs of Moses Lake and Quincy this week:
Moses Lake Police Chief Kevin Fuhr:
As a proud member of the law enforcement family for nearly 30 years, watching the events that took place in Minneapolis last week troubled me. The treatment of Mr. Floyd by the Minneapolis police officer is contrary to how officers are trained in Washington State.
In the Moses Lake Police Department we live by a set of Core Values: Professionalism, Integrity, Compassion and Service. Our administration, officers, clerical staff and volunteers treat ALL members of our community using these simple but powerful Core Values. NO person should be judged or treated differently based on their race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, social status or financial situation. We are all members of the human race, we bleed the same color, share the same emotions and should treat each other with kindness, respect and love. We ALL need to be working together to better our communities across this state and Nation.
Quincy Police Chief Kieth Siebert:
The Quincy Police Department understands and supports the right of citizens to peacefully protest. Protests have often led the way to changes in society and laws, creating a better way of life. As it says in my favorite Bible verse 1 John 3:18, “let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth”.
Unfortunately, protests have been used lately to cause havoc, burn businesses and generally disrupt the lives of other citizens. This type of behavior will not be tolerated. We strongly encourage those leading the protest to keep all members in their party from breaking the law. This includes keeping off the travel portion of the roadways and not interfering with traffic in any way.
We also condemn the actions of the officer who knelt on the neck and back of George Floyd, causing his death. His actions were not in-line with established training nor were they in line with what any human should do to another. I lay some blame on the other officers who lacked the courage to stop this tragic event from happening. My heart goes out the family and friends of Mr. Floyd.
We have discussed the death and protests here at the police department, what my expectations are and the history of law enforcement that has led to the feelings of distrust between the African American community and law enforcement. From chasing down runaway slaves to enforcing segregation and, in essence, taking away hope from an entire community, early law enforcement has not exactly upheld the mantel of justice. It is heartbreaking when anybody feels they are not valued.
We are further ahead professionally with State of Washington providing much better training to peace officers than in other parts of the country. Besides the mandatory training, the Quincy Police Department requires much more.
Below is a short list of classes we provide:
• Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission “Crisis Intervention Team” training; initial 40-hour class followed by yearly 2-hour refresher class
• De-Escalation and Hate Crimes
• Hate Crimes Investigations
• Sexual Harassment
• Bias Based Policing
• Excited Delirium
• Cultural Awareness & Diversity
104 B Street SW, Quincy, Washington 98848 • 509.787.4718 • FAX: 509.787.6120
• Racial Profiling
• Anti-Bias Law Enforcement Training
• Autism Training for Law Enforcement
• Mental Health First Aid for Public Service
This list is in addition to the many hours of other training provided. Each officer surpasses the state mandate of 24-hours of training, a number we see as to low. We expect each officer to understand and model our Mission Statement “Committed to Community”. This is visible through both enforcement and our charity work.
In the end, it is our hope we grow as a country and stop ignoring the injustices that continue to occur. We also hope you can continue to trust the Quincy Police Department through our demonstrated love we have for the Quincy Valley.