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Seattle Police Chief refers to George Floyd's death as "tragic murder"

Carmen best SPD chief 3rd and Pine shooting.png
Seattle Police Chief, Carmen Best, bluntly and candidly condemns the action of four Minneapolis police officers involved in the arrest of a black man, George Floyd, who died after an officer was caught on video pressing his knee into the suspect's neck while handcuffed and on the ground face down. (photo: KOMO News)

Seattle Police Chief, Carmen Best, describes the death of a handcuffed Minneapolis man during an arrest by police as a "tragic murder" in a written statement addressing the case involving four police officers who have already been fired.

Video recording of a police officer kneeing George Floyd in the neck to subdue him during the arrest spread quickly on social media, intensifying claims of police brutality between a black suspect and a white police officer. The arrest and Floyd's death occured on Memorial Day in Minnesota's biggest city.

Best's statement, directed to both Seattle officers and the general public says, "(With) Our commitment to de-escalation and our track record of limiting the use of force, I have confidence that something like this would not occur in our city." She goes on to implore Seattle Police officers, "If you see a co-worker doing something that is unsafe, out of policy, unacceptable or illegal, you need to act. This goes beyond reporting, it is your responsiblity (as law enforcement officers) to intervene."

Looting and burning roiled areas of Minneapolis last night, including the report of one person being shot and killed by a pawn shop owner who was allegedly protecting his business.

KVI listeners have posted numerous comments on Facebook about the police officers' behavior during the arrest, indicating their belief that the officers are culpable for Floyd's death.

John in Seattle writes: Its down to a word game, but in the end that man was wrong. I also very much so support our Men and Women in blue, but this was negligent.

Martin (no hometown given) says: If the man is in cuffs, he is the responsibility of the officers at that point. He was not a threat to anyone in cuffs. They failed to protect his rights.

Heidi (no hometown given) posts: They may not have intended to kill him but that is exactly what they did. Their lack of intent to kill him doesn't absolve them of their responsibility of what they did. I could, without intent, hit someone while driving my car. Just because I didn't mean to doesn't make it so I am not responsible and can avoid being charged for the crime of unintentionally killing someone.

Mitch in Tacoma adds: Would a private Citizen be charged with murder? Police should be held to the same or higher standard.

Cindy (no hometown listed) writes: This is really sad and should never have happened

Hope from King County concludes: It’s obvious this officer was in the wrong and that Asian officer as well. All I saw of him is doing nothing and telling people to stop recording.

Joe from Nooksack says: civil rights? Hell, this was murder.

Tracy from Ocean Shores writes: Oh c'mon, we all saw what happened! Those 4 former police officers need to be indicted for negligent homicide, at the very least. An example needs to be made to let law enforcement know that this type of behavior will not be tolerated! I am a huge supporter of law enforcement, but not to the point that I don't recognize police brutality when I see it!

Ty (no hometown given) offers a differing view in the absence of more video proof: You wanna know the best way to keep a bad cops knee off of your neck? Don't resist arrest! There are some few bad cops out there. Learn to survive police encounters. Being polite and cooperating in every way will keep you alive.

KVI's John Carlson, Lars Larson, Kirby Wilbur and mid-day hosts Markley, Van Camp and Robbins will continue to cover the events related to George Floyd's death on their respective shows.



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