Warrenton Police Chief Mike Kochis released a statement Friday afternoon on the recent death of George Floyd, an African American man who was killed while in the custody of four Minneapolis police officers. Over the last few days there have been demonstrations, some violent, throughout the country in protest over his death.
“As we continue to watch the incident in Minneapolis unfold, I feel like it is important for our community to hear from their chief of police. The video showing the murder of George Floyd is extremely disturbing and quite frankly, disgusts me. I cannot think of any scenario where the force used on Mr. Floyd while handcuffed would be justified.
“Every day your police officers serve this community with dignity and respect, and often times under very difficult situations. We enjoy tremendous support from our community and to that I say, ‘thank you.’
“I also realize that this support did not happen overnight, and should never be taken for granted. The Warrenton Police Department has worked tirelessly over the years to foster strong relationships with its community and we continue to build on those relationships today -- from our Community Church Coalition to our Community Action Team that will be working on developing internal policies to ensure your police department is operating under 21st-century policing best practices.
“While this dialog is important, understanding the history of our community and our nation is just as important. Creating dialog and having these difficult conversations are the only ways to move forward in a productive manner.
“I commit to our community that we will listen, we will act and we will continue to be the model law enforcement agency that our community deserves.”
Chief of Police, Warrenton Police Department