The City of Racine Police Chief Art Howell released a statement Thursday night expressing "extreme outrage" over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
A viral video showed a Minneapolis police officer using his knee to keep Floyd down by his neck for nearly 10 minutes. George was handcuffed at the time saying he could not breathe.
Police Chief Howell said that while it wasn't customary for police leaders to "weigh-in on police related matters in advance of the adjudication process, and it is further unusual to critique sensitive matters occurring within other jurisdictions, the facts and circumstances involving Mr. Floyd’s death as visually depicted are heart-wrenching and appalling. such conduct under the Color of Law and Order cannot be viewed as normal, justifiable, or acceptable."
"While all who are accused of crimes are afforded the full measure of Constitutional rights and protections, those who take the solemn oath to protect, serve, and to preserve life and property, have a significantly higher level of responsibility and accountability. The events witnessed on video were shocking to the conscience of the nation, and such events, if not called out for what they represent, will erode the fabric of our nation," said Howell in a statement. "I call on police leaders near and far to take a stand in condemning this unacceptable behavior, which in turn will reveal our core values and reassure those we serve that the profession we represent is yet honorable."
During a briefing, Thursday, Milwaukee city and county leaders condemned George’s death.
"America witnessed a murder. And it underscores the very serious challenges we face in combating racism in our country," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
"When you think about the emotions that come with this, they are valid. They need to be expressed. It is extremely important that you do not respond to violence with violence," said Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley.