‘This sets us back decades’: CMPD Police Chief condemns death of George Floyd at hands of Minneapolis police


CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Police departments across the nation are taking heat following Monday’s actions by officers with the Minneapolis Police Department.

Video shows arresting officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on the neck of George Floyd until he was unconscious.

Floyd died on the streets of Minneapolis after he repeatedly told officers that he could not breathe.

The excessive force that killed an unarmed black man has caused protests throughout the nation.

One protest is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday in front of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in uptown Charlotte.

Police chief Kerr Putney sat down with Charlotte activists on Friday to condemn the actions of those officers in Minneapolis.

“We keep doing all of this work, and yet, the behavior of one person, basically going rogue, puts us all in jeopardy,” Putney said. “It has made our jobs, in this profession, and jobs a lot harder.”

Putney, joined by community activists Kass Ottley and Greg Jackson, the founder of Heal Charlotte, called the violent acts “egregious.”

“It is ridiculous. It is disgusting,” Putney said. “It is frustrating, and I am getting tired of it. It’s a slap in the face to all of the good officers who are doing fantastic work. This sets us back decades.”

Putney said that trust between the police force and community is vital in the department’s success.

With actions like Chauvin’s, trust gets thrown out of the window, at times.

“Trust, all of that work seems to be thrown out the window when you have something this egregious because it takes you back to a time of Jim Crow and before when it was legal to do those things,” Putney said.

Putney also did an Instagram Live interview with Pastor Derwin Gray. In it, Putney discussed his own experiences growing up as young black man, being fearful of the police.

He said it’s one of the reasons why he wanted to become a police officer, to help change the system. He said incidents like the ones in Minneapolis make it harder for communities to trust officers.

“It doesn’t help the trust. It hinders it. You’re starting from scratch every time. I get frustration, I share it. When you come into this line of work, to change things, and you have people who do things that I think are counter to everything you want to do. It’s hard not to be frustrating and it’s tiring,” he said.

Chauvin and three other officers were fired the following day. Chauvin was arrested Friday morning and has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. Attorneys say the investigation is ongoing into the other three officers involved.