Lynnwood Police Chief Tom Davis issued a statement Friday regarding the “deep concern” he felt after watching video footage in Minneapolis of George Floyd, who was seen gasping for breath during an arrest in which a police officer kneeled on his neck for almost eight minutes.
“Police officers take an oath to protect the public,” Davis wrote. “That means all members of the public, and it is my commitment to you that every single day that’s what the hardworking men and women of the Lynnwood Police Department set out to do.”
Davis also said the Lynnwood Police Department is committed to working alongside the Lynnwood Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission as well as other community organizations to ensure the city is a “safe and welcoming city for all people.”
Here is the full letter:
To our Lynnwood Community:
I, like so many others, have watched the disturbing video of George Floyd’s arrest in Minneapolis, which led to his untimely death. And I, like so many other chiefs and sheriffs from police agencies across the state of Washington and the nation, feel it important to speak candidly about my deep concern over this incident.
Police officers take an oath to protect the public— that means all members of the public, and it is my commitment to you that every single day that’s what the hardworking men and women of the Lynnwood Police Department set out to do. Our job is to recognize any unconscious bias we may hold and not make a value judgement based upon skin color, religion, sexual orientation or any other differences that define us as individuals but rather to see you, a community member, who needs our help.
There is no way around it; what happened in Minneapolis is wrong. The video is difficult to watch and hard to understand, but we must speak out against injustice. These are not the actions of men and women who should wear our badge, and these officers must be held accountable.
I want to assure the Lynnwood community that we are committed to being a safe and welcoming city for all people and reiterate that our police officers are here to make you feel that way. We continue our commitment to work in collaboration with the Lynnwood Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission as well as other community organizations that seek to unite our diverse city. Our department’s core values are “Professionalism, Vigilance, and Community”; these core values do not discriminate.
Chief of Police, Lynnwood Police Department