CAPE CORAL, Fla. — The Cape Coral Police Department released a statement related to the current events affecting communities across the country.
Here is the statement by Chief Newlan:
“As a nation, we are all shocked and outraged by the actions of four Minneapolis Police Department officers as they arrested George Floyd. Floyd tragically died as a result of the encounter, whereby the officers acted outside of acceptable training, policy, and tactics.
As a 30 year law enforcement professional, and current Chief of Police, I have never seen or heard of a tactic whereby an officer kneels on an individual’s neck. Much less someone already handcuffed, prone, and non-combative.
I, along with my officers, share the outrage and disappointment with the actions taken by these former officers.
I also felt the need to make a public statement for myself as well as my officers. I could not let silence on the matter be construed as acceptance of these criminal actions.
I am of the belief that all legitimate law enforcement officers are equally disgusted by what transpired that day; and I am confident that these former officers will be prosecuted just like any other criminal.
I grieve for the Floyd family and all others who are mourning his loss and also mourning a tremendous setback in police community relations. Here in Cape Coral, we work awfully hard to ensure we have community support through our actions.
We demand accountability from our officers and demand that all lives are treated with dignity and respect. Even those who are being arrested.
Yes, there are times that we have to use force. However we are trained to utilize reasonable force necessary to accomplish lawful objectives. Rest assured, any deviation from these standards are not tolerated.
Valuing our American freedoms, protecting life, and serving others is in our organizational DNA.
Speaking of American freedoms, we have seen images of peaceful protests that turned violent across the country. The Cape Coral Police Department supports American citizens in their constitutional right to peacefully assemble. We will even be present to protect that right and ensure everyone’s safety.
However, we will not stand idly by and let violence and the destruction of property occur.
In closing, I believe that we as Americans will get through this challenge, like we have countless others. Working together, with trust and respect, justice will be done. And this, I believe, can be George Floyd’s legacy.”