Earlier today, Del. Mark Levine led an important and fascinating discussion on the murder of George Floyd, and the broader issues surrounding that murder, with Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown and Arlington Police Chief Jay Farr, among others. Chiefs Brown and Farr made some important points, which you view below. For instance:
Chief Brown: If one of his officers did what was Derek Chauvin did to George Floyd, he said “that officer would probably be booked in the city jail for homicide, and the additional officers would probably be charged too…quite frankly, I’ve been doing this stuff for a long time, and police officers are human, but what I saw in that video…is not only unacceptable, it’s criminal…Those people shouldn’t be wearing a badge…just unacceptable conduct…”
Asked about the other three officers, none of whom stepped in to stop Chauvin from committing murder, Brown said “that training starts really at the Academy…you don’t allow that stuff…your job is to protect the individual that you’re placing into custody…there were three other officers…I’ve got to question why…they didn’t stop it, or…if they saw it, why didn’t they take enforcement action and place that person into custody – their fellow officer. That’s what angers my folks, it angers me…that’s not what we are as a profession…in that kind of case, zero tolerance…[The other three cops] failed miserably, and their conduct could be criminal as well, and I wonder why it’s taken so long …that we can’t make that determination.”
Chief Farr: Asked about the perception that police protect each other and how the other officers would have intervened, Farr said this video shows a “systemic problem with that department and a training issue and a cultural issue that goes much deeper than a single incident.” Farr added that if a case like that happened in Arlington County, it would be considered a misuse of force and would probably be a homicide case as well. Farr wondered how “not one of them had the sense” to intervene in this case, and suggested that “the culture there allows it to happen.”
Good stuff. Check out the entire discussion, below.