Police chiefs from across Texas speak about the death of Houston-born George Floyd, who died Tuesday by Minneapolis police officers.
A viral video shows a police officer kneeling by Floyd’s neck and Floyd, who was handcuffed, pleaded to be released and said he couldn’t breathe.
In a video shared on Twitter by WFAA reporter Demond Fernandez, Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall condemned the acts that led to Floyd’s death.
“That’s not an indication of our training,” said Hall. “It’s not an indication of who we are in law enforcement. There was no empathy in what we saw and it’s daunting. “
In Houston, Police Chief Art Acevedo issued a statement on behalf of the Major Cities Chief Association in which he wrote: “On behalf of the members of @MjrCitiesChiefs, we strongly condemn the actions that led to the death of #GeorgeFloyd and stand with Chief Arradondo and together good cops all over our nation.
“We pray for the Floyd family and for peace in the community.”
“If you are not in a fight for your life, the neck is forbidden,” said Acevedo.
Austin Police Chief Brian Manley also went to Twitter and wrote, “This is heartbreaking and we have to be better than this or these pointless deaths will continue to occur. #GeorgeFloyd told officers he couldn’t breathe, but to no avail. As law enforcement professionals, we must serve our communities better! “
And in Fort Worth, chief Ed Kraus said this happened too often.
The four police officers involved were released. Floyd’s family want them to be charged with murder, as do many others around the country.
“I want these officers to be charged with murder for doing just that,” Floyd’s sister Bridgett Floyd said on NBC’s “Today” show. “You murdered my brother. He cried for help. “
Floyd, 46, was born in North Carolina and moved to Houston as a baby. He spent his childhood in Houston. Those who knew the father of two describe him as kind.
“I had never seen him be violent in high school or heard of him being violent afterwards,” current Yates High School soccer head coach and 1991 graduate Michael Hickey told Houston Chronicle. “I don’t know much about his adult background, but I’ve only heard good things. He smiled every time I saw him. “
There was a prayer vigil for Floyd Wednesday at Houston Emancipation Park. Another event in his honor is scheduled for Friday 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Discovery Green in downtown Houston. The Friday meeting, dubbed “Justice 4 George Floyd,” is hosted by Black Lives Matter.
In Dallas, the Next Generation Action Network announced a protest in front of the Dallas Police headquarters on Friday at 6:30 p.m.