Lancaster County Chiefs of Police Message

Statement from the Lancaster County Chiefs of Police Association

The Lancaster County Chiefs of Police Association, representing 29 law enforcement agencies in Lancaster County, wish to express our sincerest condolences to the family of Mr. George Floyd. It is essential that our communities know that the police leaders of Lancaster County condemn the actions of the Minneapolis police officers who caused, and failed to prevent, the tragic death of Mr. Floyd. The actions of those officers are contrary to the values and principles of justice that we strive to instill in our police officers. The conduct is shocking, shameful, and criminal. We believe any offending officers should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

We concur with the leadership of the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association when they wrote in part:

"The Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association (PCPA) expresses its deepest sympathies to the family of Mr. George Floyd. The sad death of George Floyd at the hands of a group of police officers in Minneapolis on Monday, May 25th brought back a focus on how black and brown citizens of the Commonwealth are treated during police-citizen encounters. We have all viewed the video of the arrest of Mr. Floyd. It is apparent that in this instance and ones like it, we as a profession have failed to provide the most basic protections that are afforded to all citizens. This failure should not have been acceptable in Minneapolis and is not accepted in Pennsylvania. Law Enforcement leaders must address the unacceptable and criminal conduct by these officers. Our Association does not routinely inject ourselves in matters that occur in other States; in this case our opinion is not only necessary and sharing it is the appropriate thing to do. It is our obligation to confirm our values, our oath, our sworn duty and our responsibility for the protection and inviolability of human life.

Pennsylvania law enforcement leaders have viewed the video of Mr. Floyd's death and are outraged by what they observed. Police brutality, negligence, and the failure to render aid are unacceptable in law enforcement. As an Association of police leaders, we are committed to providing our members with guidance on best practices and policy. What transpired during Mr. Floyd' s arrest is inexplicable. The placing of a knee on an individual' s neck while the individual is on their stomach is not a justifiable application of non-lethal force and is widely discredited by professionals because it may cause suffocation (positional asphyxia). "

It is our moral and professional duty to reflect the values of our community, and we are committed to upholding this obligation.

During the past week, members of our Association met with leaders of Lancaster NAACP. We discussed the current situation, as well as suggestions for and challenges to improving policies and procedures. We value our local relationship with the NAACP Lancaster Branch and are committed to continue it as we partner to heal our communities.

Sincerely,

Lancaster County Chiefs of Police Association