Thursday, May 28, 2020

Mayor Turner and Sen. John Whitmire issue joint statement following the tragic death of former Houston resident George Floyd while in Minneapolis Police custody

HOUSTON - The following is a joint statement from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner and Senator John Whitmire, Dean of the Texas Senate and Chair of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee.

"As public servants, we have a responsibility to interact and engage the general public in a manner that is consistent with our oath of office. It is important for us as public servants to maintain the trust and support of the community we serve.

"The actions of the police officer placing his knee on the neck of George Floyd, keeping it there and applying pressure for nearly nine minutes while other police officers failed to intervene, but rather stood by as enablers, cannot be excused.

"Regardless of what Mr. Floyd may or may not have done leading up to the time he was forced to the ground cannot justify the subsequent actions of the police officers whether the incident occurred in Minneapolis or Houston or any other city. From all indications, his death was clearly avoidable.

"What happened in Minneapolis amplifies the events surrounding any loss of life of a person involving police officers anywhere in the country and further damages the relationship between the police and the community, and specifically communities of color.

"That is why we must uniformly speak out against what occurred in Minneapolis as totally unjust and unacceptable.

"We must constantly work to train our officers, utilize best practices, review our procedures and actions, and hold everyone accountable. Only then can we gain and maintain the trust and confidence of the public we serve.

"It is in the best interest of everyone, from law enforcement and the community, to work together for the good of all."