Unified New Jersey Prosecutors Denounce George Floyd’s Death
TRENTON — All of New Jersey's prosecutors have denounced the killing of a Minneapolis man in police custody in a joint statement released by the County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey.
"As the chief law enforcement officers in our respective counties, we think it's important to speak in a unified voice regarding the death of George Floyd," the statement said.
George Floyd was accused of Forgery when Minneapolis police officers first made contact with him. Video shows Floyd being handcuffed and restrained by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Chauvin then dropped Floyd to the ground and kneeled on his neck and suffocated him to death.
As a unified front, New Jersey prosecutors understand that law enforcement's relationship with the community is built on trust, "our community has the right to trust that they will be treated fairly and justly by the officers who serve them."
All officers involved in the incident, including Derek Chauvin, were fired shortly after videos of the incident surfaced on the internet and attracted national attention. Minnesota State Police have arrested and charged Chauvin with Third Degree Murder and Manslaughter. No charges have been filed against the other former officers involved in the incident, which is the primary catalyst for the nationwide protests.
New Jersey Prosecutors are proud of the law enforcement community's relationship with the public during this difficult time: "Our police officers routinely conduct themselves with the utmost professionalism and respect for the members of the communities they serve," the statement said.
The statement praises Gurbir Grewal, New Jersey Attorney General, who recently issued a comprehensive package of policy initiatives that are designed to reinforce and clarify the state's commitment to the excellence in policing, "these statewide reforms are intended to promote the culture of professionalism, accountability, and transparency that are hallmarks of New Jersey's best law enforcement agencies."
The reforms that the statement is eluding to the is the Excellence in Policing Initiative issued by Grewal last fall. The initiative is intended to be a "national model" and has three main pillars: professionalism, accountability, and transparency.
The statement concludes with all of the prosecutors offering their thoughts and prayers to the Floyd family, "In addition to being county prosecutors, we are all part of the citizenry we serve, and as such, we pledge our continued commitment to ensuring justice for each and every resident of our state, to holding all offenders, police officers included, accountable for their crimes, and improving relations between law enforcement and the community."
You can view the full statement here.