Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw made a statement on Thursday regarding George Floyd´s death during a Monday arrest in which an officer kneeled on his neck for almost eight minutes. Outlaw said “communities of color are tired of reliving atrocities such as this over and over again. They are sick and tired of being sick and tired.”
Outlaw who became in February the first African-American woman to lead the Philadelphia Police Department recognized the impact of the shocking event on the entire country. “Although the tragedy occurred hundreds of miles away from Philadelphia, the impact is felt all over the nation and world,” she stated.
She also referred to the efforts made by police officers to do their job properly but who are unfortunately undermined by these “inhumane acts.”
“As a member of the noble law enforcement profession, I know that those of us who work earnestly to serve all communities with fairness and sincerity, have grown weary of our efforts being stained by the actions of those who commit these inhumane acts.”
As a mother, Outlaw says her sons “relay to me that they fear for their lives because of the unjustified fear others have of them; solely due to their existence.”
In the statement, the Police Commissioner praised Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo for his “swift and certain response” to the death of Floyd. “I applaud Chief Medaria Arradondo for his swift and certain response to this tragedy. He has sent a clear message that this type of conduct, including by those who turn a blind eye, will not be tolerated in his ranks.”
Floyd, 46, was arrested Monday after an employee at a grocery store called police to accuse him of trying to pass a counterfeit $20 bill. A video shows Floyd, who is African-American, face-down on the ground with his hands cuffed behind his back, as officer Derek Chauvin, uses the knee restraint on his neck. This procedure caused his death by suffocation.
“He wasn’t actively resisting, and he was saying he couldn’t breathe,” said Charles P. Stephenson, a former police officer and FBI agent with expertise in use-of-force tactics. “You have to understand that possibility is there (that Floyd couldn’t breathe), and you release any kind of restriction you might have on an airway immediately.”
Chauvin and the three other responding officers have been fired, and the FBI is investigating whether they willfully deprived Floyd of his civil rights.