FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — Valley law enforcement responded after the in-custody death of a Minnesota man. The incident sparking protests across the country.
Viral video shows a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the neck of George Floyd shortly before he died Monday.
“My initial thoughts were I was incensed by it,” Selma Police Chief Joseph Gomez said Thursday.
Gomez is also a Use of Force instructor, and said the move used is not something police are taught.
“He shouldn’t have been on the neck that way. He shouldn’t have been pressing down on the body and once he went into distress which you can all see on the video then you immediately have to get off of him,” Gomez said.
Gomez said the officers made several mistakes, but does not personally believe they knew how badly Floyd was being injured.
“The people who were videotaping it, the citizens they clearly saw that he was in distress but I don’t believe the cops knew that,” he said.
Fresno Police Chief Andy Hall on the other hand, released a statement reading in part:
“This officer’s actions and those officers that stood by and watched the death of George Floyd, violated the oath of more than 800,000 men and women who dedicate their lives to serve their communities… The behavior demonstrated by the Minneapolis officers erodes the trust of our profession.”Fresno Police Chief Andy Hall
Kingsburg Police Chief Neil Dadian said once again the actions of a few officers will impact them all.
“We all feel the effects. Hopefully we have a community and I certainly know in my community we have a lot of support for police and hopefully most people will say ‘Well, I”m glad our police don’t do that, but I guarantee you there’s some people that say I hope our police aren’t doing that, and that just erodes our trust and we’re going to have to work just a little bit harder to get that trust back,” he said.
The four officers involved have all been fired and the incident is being investigated by local, state and federal authorities.