"The death of George Floyd was wrong."
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Clinton Police Chief instructs his officers to use de-escalation.
My Fellow Officers,
The death of George Floyd was wrong. I write this letter today (May 29) after having spoken to every one of you individually or as a group and also after having reviewed the facts as they have presented themselves over the past three days. The actions of the officer in Minnesota went beyond any tactics we are trained to use. Equally troubling was the fact that three fellow officers stood by while their partner acted in a manner that contradicts his sworn commitment to protect and serve.
Each of you knows how diligently we train to use de-escalation strategies and how strictly we hold ourselves to use of force policies. However, training and policies are only as good as the people entrusted to carry them out. My expectation of every member of this department is that we conduct ourselves with a high ethical standard and treat every life with dignity, value and respect. I have every confidence that each of you has the same expectation of yourselves and your fellow officers.
Our badge is tarnished when we act contrary to our training, violate rights, or let bias cloud our judgement. Incidents like this erode the trust of law enforcement across the nation and undermine the relationships we have worked so hard to foster in the communities we serve.
The Clinton Police Department will continue our efforts to work with our citizens, listen to their concerns, and provide services rooted in a commitment to the safety of all we are privileged to "Protect and Service."
Socrates B. "Sonny" ledda
Chief of Police