Some Central Coast police departments are addressing the death of George Floyd.
A Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on Floyd's neck for several minutes. Authorities said the confrontation started because they received a call from a grocery store employee reporting someone trying to pass a counterfeit bill. By the time EMS arrived, Floyd showed no signs of life. Chauvin has since been charged with 3rd degree murder and manslaughter, as well as fired from the Minneapolis Police Department.
The death has resulted in protests occurring nationwide.
San Luis Obispo Police Chief Deanna Cantrell tweeted about mourning the loss of Floyd. She said SLOPD is working on crisis intervention, as well as principled policing to ensure this kind of incident never occurs in SLO.
We mourn the loss of George Floyd and can assure you that SLOPD is working on crisis intervention, principled policing and treating all people with dignity, neutrality, respect and trustworthiness to ensure this type of incident never occurs here. pic.twitter.com/FdWPdZ465q— Deanna Cantrell (@slopdchief) May 27, 2020
Cantrell also said she is calling for peaceful protests because violence takes away from the focus of the tragedy.
"What happened in Minneapolis could happen anywhere and is a stark reminder that we must be better – and we get better by valuing one another’s lives – by valuing different opinions enough to have deep and thoughtful conversations that lead to change about race and justice and equity and principles that we all should be loyal and dedicated to," she said.
The Santa Barbara Police Department also sent out a press release addressing Floyd's death. City of Santa Barbara Police Chief Lori Luhnow said she was deeply disturbed by Floyd's preventable death.
Luhnow said the Department partners with community groups and leaders to have "meaningful dialogues" and learn from them. She said that these groups have helped to enhance their training on principled policing and implicit bias.
"It is through dialogue that we hear other people’s stories and perspectives and learn to empathize with each other," Luhnow said. "Historically, law enforcement has contributed to the marginalization of many disadvantaged groups, including African Americans. It is the responsibility of current law enforcement leaders to take measures to prevent those actions from occurring."