Joint statement released by Chief Constable Bill Skelly and Jez Kumar following death of George Floyd

As the world reels in shock and anger over the killing of George Floyd while in police custody, Lincolnshire Police chief constable Bill Skelly and SMILE Network chair Jez Kumar have released a joint statement.
Chief Constable Bill Skelly.Chief Constable Bill Skelly.
Chief Constable Bill Skelly.

The statement reads: “The shocking death of African-American George Floyd outside a shop in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25 has sent ripples of anger, fear, frustration and sadness across the globe.

“For many black people in particular, this is history repeating itself and playing out in real time on both social media and the mainstream media.

“This tragic and avoidable death undermines everything the police service stands for - respect, justice and protecting the public, regardless of skin colour or background.

“Putting on the uniform every day is a proud moment for all of us but at times like this we need to check on those around us too, to make sure they are feeling the same way.

“We are supportive of positive change coming about as a result of this incident and will play our part in continuing to ensure officers uphold the highest standards of behaviour and professionalism.

“Our thoughts go out to the family of George Floyd in the hope that his death will not have been in vain.

“Indira Gandhi once said ‘you cannot shake hands with a clenched fist’, and likely reflects how many of the protesters in America, and elsewhere, including the UK may be feeling.

“Freedom of speech and peaceful protest are fundamental rights to be upheld and promoted, and whilst acts of violence will not be tolerated, we will continue to police our communities through engagement and with hands and arms open.”

Chief Constables from forces across the country, the chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, the chief executive of the College of Policing and the President of the Police Superintendents’ Association have also spoken following the death of George Floyd. Their statement can be found here