Chandler mayor, police chief, Chandler Men of Action leader discuss protests, importance of unity in Facebook Live event

Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke, Chandler Police Chief Sean Duggan and Rev. Victor Hardy, the president and co-founder of Chandler Men of Action, sat down for a Facebook Live event June 1 to discuss the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the importance of unity in the city of Chandler. (Screenshot courtesy city of Chandler)
Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke, Chandler Police Chief Sean Duggan and Rev. Victor Hardy, the president and co-founder of Chandler Men of Action, sat down for a Facebook Live event June 1 to discuss the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the importance of unity in the city of Chandler. (Screenshot courtesy city of Chandler)

Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke, Chandler Police Chief Sean Duggan and Rev. Victor Hardy, the president and co-founder of Chandler Men of Action, sat down for a Facebook Live event June 1 to discuss the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the importance of unity in the city of Chandler. (Screenshot courtesy city of Chandler)

Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke; Chandler Police Chief Sean Duggan; and Rev. Victor Hardy, the president and co-founder Chandler Men of Action, sat down for a Facebook Live event June 1 to discuss the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the importance of unity in the city of Chandler.

"The death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week was both tragic and wrong," Hartke said in the video. "As a result, we have seen rightful outrage across the United States as well as in our own community. Chandler is known to be a community that embraces unity, celebrates our differences and boasts of our inclusivity. Part of that is a result of our police and our police chief with the work that they have done and continue to do to build relationships and rapport with the community. I want to assure you that we will continue to make Chandler a place that is safe and is good for all whether you are a resident, a visitor or a business."

During the event, Hardy read a statement from the Chandler Men of Action, a group with the mission "to create an environment of hope and opportunity for African American youth," according to its website.

"The Chandler Men of Action want to express our concern over the events leading to the death of George Floyd in the city of Minneapolis," Hardy said. "The actions of those who protect should be concerning to everyone. However, we also wish to take this opportunity to express our support of the city of Chandler leadership and the Chandler Police Department. While the Chandler Men of Action understand the frustration of witnessing events we can't control and wanting to ensure it never happens again, we feel the relationships and dialogue previously established with our local institutions should continue."

Hardy said that relationship began for CMA with attending City Council meetings and being members of city boards and commissions.


"We want to be instruments of positive change and started this process many years ago," Hardy said. "Chandler Men of Action have the utmost faith in the leadership training of our police department, [and we] believe events like those we see all too often in this country will not occur here. We believe similar events would meet with swift justice and transparency we have not seen in other parts of the country."

Duggan said the mission and purpose of the Chandler Police Department is to help keep the city safe.

"We know that to be successful, we must have the support and the trust and the respect of the people who live and work in our city, because without that, as we can see in other communities, we will not be successful," Duggan said. "The level of support is earned every single day."

Duggan further called the events in Minneapolis tragic.

"When I first saw that video, it was disgusting," Duggan said. "It was disturbing beyond words. In my 30-plus years of policing, that tactic that was utilized"—referring to the MPD officer pinning Floyd to the ground by kneeling on his neck—"was not something I'd ever seen or known or trained in. I just want to assure our community that we are adhering to the best practices when it comes to use of force training and policy."

Hartke said the city will continue to support the "peaceful expression of change and justice."

"We ask that you work with us and our police department to curb the spread and use of violence and vandalism in our community," Hartke said. "Chandler is strong. Chandler is diverse. Chandler is united."

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