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The original item was published from 5/29/2020 1:57:00 PM to 5/29/2020 5:50:27 PM.

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Posted on: May 29, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Statement of Chief Roy Vasque on the Death of George Floyd

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To The Residents of Lawrence,

 I feel compelled to say something. I cannot stand by and let the incident in Minnesota go by without stating how disappointed and disgusted I am. After watching the video footage of the incident in Minnesota, I was shocked and outraged, my heart sank.  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. How can anyone, never mind a police officer, treat a human being this way?  As I watched the video, I found myself saying over and over, as the minutes went on “Get off him”. I can’t and won’t try to justify the officers’ actions, they are reprehensible, indefensible and No excuses can be made. This should not have happened. No one deserves to be treated this way!  This is a very sad day in this country. My heart goes out to the family of George Floyd and the Minneapolis, Minnesota community.

 As a community we are left with yet again another wedge between us. Not only do these types of actions tarnish our badge but they destroy our relationship with the community. We have made it a priority in Lawrence to build a strong relationship with our community, knowing that this is the only way to build a better Lawrence. That trust between us is so important if we are going to continue to change Lawrence together for the better. 

 The men and women of the Lawrence Police Department are from the community, they are hardworking, dedicated, well trained and professional. They are not happy about the events in Minnesota. They, like me are disgusted and saddened by the treatment of Mr. Floyd. They also see the damage that this has caused between the police and the community. They are committed to continuing to build your trust every day. 

 We know that negative events around the world involving police officers affect your views of policing. The overwhelming majority of police officers are good people, dedicated to helping their respective communities. We ask that you judge us by what is happening here in Lawrence. Please don’t judge us by the disgusting acts of one officer. Being a police officer is not an easy job but we are committed to policing by treating everyone with respect, dignity, empathy and procedural justice for all. The way it should be, the way we would want our families to be treated. This is our continued pledge to you. Our hope is that we can use this injustice to rally together to make Lawrence stronger. Thank you and stay safe.


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