GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The mayor of Greenfield on Wednesday spoke out against the “senseless” killings of African American citizens at the hands of police officers in America.
In a statement sent to 22News, Mayor Roxann Wedegartner said there is already a long list of black people who have been killed by police officers across the country who are supposed to protect and serve them, making it heartbreaking every time “we are forced to add a name” to the list.
On May 25, 46-year-old George Floyd was killed while in Minneapolis police custody. Floyd’s death has prompted thousands across the country and world to protest police brutality, racism and police killings of black Americans.
Mayor Wedegartner wants to ensure Greenfield residents that the police department is trained in all aspects of community policing and that no acts committed by officers that exceeds the use of force policies and results in extreme injury or death will be tolerated.
You can read Greenfield’s mayor’s full statement below:
George Floyd. Auhmad Arbery. Breonna Taylor. Sandra Bland. Trayvon Martin. Michael Brown. The list is long and it is heartbreaking every time we are forced to add a name to it as a result of senseless killing of our fellow black American citizens at the hands of police officers. There are undoubtedly countless others that we don’t know about because a code of silence permeates these heinous acts.
The depravity and cold indifference of Derek Chauvin as he crushed the life from George Floyd with his knee is hard for many of us to conceive. As a southerner raised among racists, it is sadly not hard for me to conceive. I condemn these killings and the outrageous lack of justice for the victims of these crimes and their families and friends. I am also tired, as many of us are, of having to watch our legal system fail to hold the involved officers accountable in the strictest way possible for their actions. The frustration and anger are real; they’re boiling over and uncontainable right now unless we drastically change course. We cannot change course until we condemn and confront the racism that gives life to these injustices. In four hundred years, we haven’t been able to do it; but we must commit to getting it right this time.
As a Mayor with a city police force at her command, I am keenly aware of the importance of having our officers live up to the oath they take to protect and serve without prejudice and with extreme professionalism, under often dangerous an escalating situations. I commit to ensuring that our police force is trained in all aspects of community policing, including critical incident training and de-escalation techniques, that no acts committed by officers that exceeds our use of force policies and results in extreme injury or death will be tolerated.Greenfield Mayor Roxann Wedegartner