The Oregon Police Department has become one of many Dane County departments actively addressing concerns and inquiries surrounding the death of George Floyd.
Floyd, 46, died Monday, May 25, in a Minneapolis hospital after police arrested him for suspected forgery. A viral cell phone video shows an officer pinning a handcuffed Floyd to the ground next to a squad car with a knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes. Floyd and bystanders plead with the officer to remove his knee, but its to no avail. Three additional officers were involved with the incident, the video depicts.
The OPD shared a statement on its Facebook page from the Dane County Chiefs of Police Association calling the actions of the Minneapolis officers “heinous and unacceptable.”
Oregon police chief Jennifer Pagenkopf participated in the drafting of that statement, the post states, adding she had conversations with members of a subcommittee called the United Way Law Enforcement and Leader of Color Collaboration, which hosted a virtual town hall Thursday, May 28.
OPD and surrounding departments will take the lessons Floyd’s death teaches and apply them however they can, according to the post.
“Our thoughts are with George’s family and everyone else who has been impacted by this incident,” the post reads.
All four officers involved in Floyd’s arrest have been fired. Minnesota’s Federal Bureau of Investigation is actively investigating his death, Minneapolis news outlets reported in the days following the incident.
But protests and riots have broken out all over the city since Floyd’s passing.
The letter from the Dane County chiefs states area officers are all trained to help people who need it.
“Nothing can justify the actions or inaction of these officers,” it states. “The actions of the Minneapolis officers in this incident do not represent the values, policies or training of our law enforcement community in Dane County or the vast majority of the 600,000 or so officers in this country.”