The Montgomery County Prosecutor said in a statement Wednesday that justice needs to be carried out in the case of George Floyd.
Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. said he wants to add his voice and speak out against “the unfair treatment and violence that African-Americans have received by some in law enforcement.”
“Kneeling on the neck of a person and causing their death is nothing less than murder, a heinous crime for which the person or persons responsible must be charged, convicted, and held accountable,” Heck said in a statement. “The fact that the perpetrator is a police officer makes the crime even more despicable.”
A video of a Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck triggered nationwide protests that have spread to Dayton and its surrounding communities in the past week.
Chauvin now is facing a second-degree murder charge in the case while three other officers who were at the scene will also face charges. All four have been fired.
Heck said many sheriffs, police chiefs, mayors and governors have called what happened to Floyd outrageous and unacceptable, and he agrees.
“I support and stand with lawful protests of injustice,” he said in a statement. “Peaceful protests by the citizenry are deeply entrenched in American history and tradition. Our founding fathers enshrined in the Constitution the right of the people to freely express their opinions through peaceful protest and demonstration.”
“I do not condone any destructive acts of vandalism, looting, and assaults that have taken place. Such acts harm others and distract from the important message of the peaceful protesters. The story then becomes about broken windows, burnt or spray‐painted buildings, and businesses ruined, instead of the senseless murder of a defenseless and unarmed black man. The facts and circumstances and callousness of his murder cries out for justice. I join others in calling for justice for his death and others who have been the victims of racial violence.”
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