In Minneapolis, George Floyd, 46, died after a police officer knelt on his neck for an extended period of time during an arrest on May 25. The four Minneapolis officers involved have since been fired. The case has gained national attention.
Wood County Sheriff Shawn Becker released a statement addressing the incident:
With the recent tragedy of the death of Minneapolis citizen George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement, I know we should all try to wait to comment until the investigation is complete. I also know that is nearly impossible, especially considering the appalling video footage of the incident we have seen.
I’ve tried to imagine what the officer(s) was doing or thinking as his actions took Mr. Floyd’s life…and I just can’t think of anything reasonable or justifiable. There has to be accountability, and I’m confident there will be at many different levels.
From the officer that took Mr. Floyd’s life, his assisting officers, supervisors, and beyond. We all feel frustration as we all know this will take time. We want justice now, but have to wait and trust the criminal justice system will do its job.
There is further tragedy we are seeing unfold right now to a city and community that many of us have connections to. On a personal level, my wife was born in Minneapolis, and has many relatives still living there. We visit there often. It is a gorgeous place to visit and stay. I am worried, and wish this never happened. I hope leadership at all levels works together to address this. However, I know that this will take time.
I ask of all you, please do not judge all law enforcement officers for the terrible actions a few took. I speak for our sheriff’s department, each deputy/corrections officer takes pride in putting on the uniform to represent and protect you. They are great people that I would give my life for, just as I would for you.
Wood County Sheriff