Portland Police Chief Jami Resch today joined a national chorus condemning the actions of the Minneapolis police officer who killed George Floyd during an arrest on May 25.
"The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has reverberated across the nation. The actions and tactics displayed on the video do not represent our profession's values and are contrary to our fundamental duty to protect and serve," Resch said in a statement. "This incident strengthens our resolve to work even harder to earn the trust of our community, especially with persons of color."
Resch added that the Portland Police Bureau and its equity team are working with community partners "to identify opportunities for us to engage in conversation and share how these events affect our relationships and ongoing efforts for continued trust building."
UPDATE, 9:15 pm: Daryl Turner, the president of the Portland Police Association, issued a remarkable statement in response to the killing.
"What happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of a police officer is revolting, incomprehensible, and unacceptable," Turner said in a Facebook post on Thursday. "What we saw in that video—Mr. Floyd pleading for his life—should send chills down the spine of every law enforcement officer and citizen in this country. This tragedy is inconsistent with our oath to protect and serve, it is inconsistent with the job entrusted to us by our communities, and it is in complete opposition to everything we are trained to do."
The killing of Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, sparked destructive protests in Minneapolis this week. The New York Times reported that police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators, some of whom set buildings afire and looted stores.
Floyd died in police custody on Monday after Minneapolis police officers responded to a call about a man suspected of committing forgery.
After arriving at the scene, a white officer named Derek Chauvin handcuffed and pinned Floyd to the ground with his knee pressed onto Floyd's neck. Three officers stood nearby as Floyd pleaded with Chauvin that he was unable to breath. After several minutes, Floyd became motionless. He was later pronounced dead. All four officers have been fired.
Floyd's death has drawn comparisons to that of Eric Garner, who died in 2014 when a New York City police officer held him in a chokehold. Garner's last words, "I can't breathe," became a rallying cry for Black Lives Matter and other movements against police brutality.