SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Local law enforcement officers have released statements to the Suncoast community in wake of the murder of George Floyd that took place in Minneapolis, MN last week.
On Saturday, Sarasota Police Department Chief of Police, Bernadette DiPino, released a statement condemning the actions of the Minneapolis police officers and called Floyd’s murder senseless and heartbreaking.
“I was shocked and outraged by the actions and conduct of the Minneapolis police officer and the inaction of the other officers I observed on the video," DiPino said. "The senseless death of Mr. Floyd is tragic, heartbreaking and never should have happened. We grieve with his family, friends, and his community.”
DiPino also reassured the citizens of Sarasota that the men and women of the Sarasota Police Department are not trained to use the tactics that were used in Minneapolis.
“The actions of the officers in Minneapolis were inexcusable,” DiPino said. “As your Police Chief, I promise you that we will continue to be professional, transparent and compassionate as we continue to partner with you, your families and your neighbors to keep our community safe.”
Melanie Bevan, the Chief of Police of the Bradenton Police Department released a statement on Sunday that was similar to the sentiments of DiPino.
“I grieve with the rest of the nation over this tragedy, and I promise the Bradenton community that BPD will remain steadfast in serving, safeguarding, and protecting every life in our City, with fairness and compassion,” Bevan said.
Bevan also said that the other officers who stood by and did nothing to stop stop the torture that was being inflicted upon Floyd should be held equally culpable in his death.
“The fundamental duty of law enforcement is to safeguard lives, not destroy them,” Bevan said. “That this incident took place under the color of law is even more disturbing and in direct contrast of what we stand for.”
Sheriff Rick Wells of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office also released a statement on Sunday. “I share with every other law-enforcement official who is sickened and appalled by the actions of Minnesota Police Officer Derek Chauvin and the others involved," Wells said.
“This type of behavior will not be condoned by any law-enforcement officer in Manatee County. We encourage citizens who want to express themselves to do so in a peaceful manner, because we also share in their frustration.”