The Bend Police Department on Friday issued a statement condemning the actions of Minneapolis police officers involved in the death of George Floyd, saying the “horrific situation widens the gap of building trust between communities and law enforcement.”
“The City of Bend Police Department would like to extend our deepest condolences to the Floyd family for their tragic loss,” the statement said. “The unfathomable actions taken by the Minneapolis officers that led to the murder of Mr. George Floyd have not gone unnoticed by our department and our community members.”
Officer Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck, has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the case.
The incident has sparked protests across the United States and fires and looting in Minneapolis
“We are living in difficult times, and this horrific situation widens the gap of building trust between communities and law enforcement,” the statement reads “We are saddened that such brutal actions were taken by a few that were sworn to protect.
“We want our communities of color to feel safe, to feel included and know their lives matter. We want our actions to demonstrate that.
We have been in collaboration with community organizations and concerned community members to open up an ongoing conversation on how we can better protect and serve our communities of color.
“We are committed to being in service to those that have been historically oppressed, and to working towards policy, programs, training, and community accountability that promotes an equitable and inclusive Bend.”
Chief Jim Porter issued his own statement as well.
“After 42 years of policing, I did not believe there existed a situation or set of circumstances that could bring me to tears in an instant or cause me to question my fundamental trust in American justice. But after having watched the brutal murder of George Floyd, I was proven wrong,” he said. “Watching men who were sworn to protect and serve do the opposite by victimizing and murdering has given me doubt.
“The threat by leaders to march our military into cities and shooting those who are impacted by police brutality is cowardly and irresponsible and does nothing to resolve this challenge.
“Our national, state and local leaders need to focus on the causes of inequality, not the results if they truly want to end this inequality.
“Members of the Bend Police Department are committed to protecting and serving, not oppressing and assaulting the community members they are sworn to serve. As we move forward, know we are open to your ideas, your comments, and your help to make Bend a better place to live where diversity, equality and inclusion are our foundation.””