Police unions generally warn against quick judgments in cases of law enforcement violence, but in California, several representing rank-and-file police Thursday condemned the death of George Floyd and the actions of a Minnesota officer who knelt on his neck as he pleaded for air.
Floyd died at the scene and the officer, Derek Chauvin, was arrested Friday, prosecutors said. The death has sparked violence and rioting in Minneapolis, where the National Guard has been called in, and protests in other cities, including Los Angeles.
“What we saw on that video was inconsistent and contrary to everything we have been taught, not just as an academy recruit or a police officer, but as human beings. Reverence for life in every incident a police officer encounters must be the floor and not the ceiling,” the Los Angeles Police Protective League, which represents nearly 10,000 L.A. sworn personnel, said in a statement late Thursday.
Police unions in San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland, as well as the statewide law enforcement lobbying group, the Peace Officers Research Assn. of California, put out similar statements, calling Chauvin’s actions outside of police training and castigating three other officers at the scene for failing to intervene. All four officers involved in the death have been fired.
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