Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke released a statement June 5 addressing the death of George Floyd and the peaceful protests that have occurred for several days in Chandler and across the nation.
"Like so many of you, I have been having daily heart-to-heart conversations with family, friends, Chandler residents, business owners, community leaders, City employees and others," Hartke said in the statement. "The violent deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and so many others who have lost their lives at the hands of inequality and injustice are tragically wrong. These and other traumas inflicted on our nation must compel Americans to come together, respect each other and take steps forward to enact changes that positively impact our communities."
On May 25, George Floyd died in Minneapolis while in police custody. Floyd was handcuffed and lying face-down on the street. Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. Floyd became unresponsive and was later pronounced dead at a hospital. Three other police officers—officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas K. Lane—were involved in Floyd’s arrest. Floyd was accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill at a market. The four officers were fired a day after the death.
Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Two autopsies have ruled the manner of death for Floyd to be homicide.
Ahmaud Arbery was fatally shot while jogging near Brunswick in Glynn County, Georgia, on Feb. 23.
Hartke said people from across the country have called for discussion, education and action in the wake of Floyd's death.
"As a community leader, I have spent decades serving our community, listening, meeting and addressing our commitment that Chandler continues to work to be a place of equity and equal opportunity for every person," Hartke said. "These conversations are ongoing and we will continue to work with our community, Chandler’s Diversity Office, the Human Relations Commission and the Citizens' Panel for Review of Police Complaints and Use of Force to ensure that discussion results action.
I stand with the peaceful protesters and our diverse residents, leaders, educators, business community and those who have poured their hearts and souls into this City. I stand with our public safety professionals as they continue to serve us and implement best practices regarding policing standards and training. And I stand with those across the nation who have suffered from social injustice and inequality. We are always better, together."
Chandler mayor calls death of George Floyd 'tragically wrong,' says he stands with protesters, residents, public safety personnel
Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke released a statement June 5 on the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests that have occurred. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)