Police chiefs across North Texas are expressing their sadness over the death of George Floyd last week in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Floyd, who is black, died in police custody May 25 after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, was captured on video kneeling against his neck for several minutes, not moving when Floyd said he could not breathe. Chauvin has been charged with murder and manslaughter. Three other officers at the scene are under investigation.
Soon after news of the incident spread, The Colony Police Chief David Coulon posted a letter on social media condemning the actions of the officers involved and questioning how such a situation can happen in America today.
“When the actions of a bad officer tarnishes his badge, my badge is tarnished,” Coulon said in the letter. “I take personal offense to this and to the disgrace brought to the badges of good TCPD officers. I support the decision of Minneapolis Police Chief to fire the officer, and I concur with the mayor of Minneapolis that the officer must be held accountable as quickly and thoroughly as possible.”
Coulon went on to discuss how The Colony Police Department works to ensure those incidents don’t happen in this city.
“In The Colony we not only hold each officer accountable for all actions in uniform, but we also hold accountable all the fellow officers at the scene if they fail to step in and stop such situations,” the letter stated. “We train every year in proper use of force, de-escalation and in treating every person with the dignity and respect, every person has a basic human right to.”
Coulon is just one local police chief in North Texas to address the matter publicly.
Denton County Sheriff Tracy Murphree described his anger in a Facebook post.
“I’m angry that a man lost his life. I’m angry that officers sworn to serve and protect their citizens dishonored that oath,” his post said. “I’m angry that every man and woman that wears a badge in this country will pay for that dishonor. I’m angry that voices who protest this incident and seek an answer with sincerity will be silenced by the destruction and criminal activities of mobs who only seek to steal and burn the city down. I’m angry that this will become a political football punted back and forth between political parties both blaming the other. I’m angry that people are getting hurt and killed in all the chaos. I’m angry about some of the comments that will be made on this post attacking me and my profession.
“I’ve put cops in prison for murder to theft,” his posted continued. “Nothing turns my stomach more than a bad cop. No other profession pays more for the sins of those who disgrace that profession. I’m angry and every good cop who does this job day in and day out with honor is angry too. The only answer I have is I will do my best each and every day to uphold my oath and will do my best to serve with honor. I will expect that of those who work for me as well.”
Frisco Police Chief David Shilson posted a letter on social media, beginning it by referencing the code of ethics officers learn and swear to in the police academy.
“The actions on display by the officers in the death of George Floyd do not fall in line with this code,” Shilson said in the message. “Words from our profession are not enough. We must speak through our actions and live up to the code of ethics we swear to before putting on a badge.”
Carrollton Police Chief Derick Miller tweeted, “The death of George Floyd is tragic and unjust. These actions are not indicative of the men and women who do this job the right way every day. Professionalism, dignity and respect should be our guiding values. Our compass should always point to these ideals.”