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I trust you have all seen the media coverage on the death of George Floyd while in police custody. The images are appalling and sad. People are enraged, distraught, and demanding justice. I have included an image of George Floyd that I want you to look at. Remember it as you read this. This is not who we are and this is not our badge.
Our badge represents our cultural values to Serve our community with Integrity and Continuously Improve ourselves. This image is everything we are not. It represents a callous indifference to our values. We train to protect ourselves and our community with care and compassion. Violence is something we do when we must. It is never something we do because we can. It is why we train in good tactics that minimize injury. It is why train to immediately cease control techniques as soon as the person is secured and it is why we immediately move them to a position where they can breathe and summon medical assistance. It is also why we encourage everyone to speak up when they see something unsafe and why we document and review each and every use of force for potential ways to improve safety and training for everyone.
Our communities give us tremendous authority and power over their lives. Our badge is a symbol of that trust. And when we betray our badge the consequences are disastrous. This is not who we are. This is not what we do. This is not our badge.