Statement of Chief William Scott on Civil Unrest in Minneapolis and Other Cities 20-055

The tragic death of Mr. George Floyd after being involved in an incident with Minneapolis Police officers is extremely disturbing. What I and everyone else saw on the video images of this incident is flat wrong and not consistent with the respect for the sanctity of human life that all men and women who are sworn peace officers have a duty to uphold.

Furthermore, this issue intersects squarely with policing disparities that have occurred for generations — and continue to occur — in regard to using force on people of color (specifically black and brown men). Those of us who have chosen policing as a profession all have a responsibility to make the difficult and courageous decisions necessary to change this narrative for the better. I applaud and support the decision and swift action taken by Minneapolis Chief Medaria Arradondo to fire the involved officers.

This incident affects all of us in law enforcement, and it underscores the importance of the San Francisco Police Department's work on the Collaborative Reform Initiative, which aspires to make our department a national model of 21st century policing. Our first-of-its-kind, voluntary reform endeavor reflects the commitment we at SFPD share to reduce uses of force generally; to diminish racial disparities in uses of force, stops, and arrests; and to fulfill the promise of bias-free policing that stands for safety with respect for all.

I join with my fellow police chiefs from the Major Cities Chiefs Association and the International Association of Chiefs of Police in extending my condolences to Mr. Floyd's family and friends at this difficult time.

— Chief William Scott

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