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District attorney also issues statement

Rockland police chief speaks out on Floyd murder

Jun 01, 2020

Rockland — Rockland Police Chief Chris Young issued a statement Monday over the May 25 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Young issued his statement June 1, hours before a protest march planned in Rockland against Floyd's death and in support of Black Lives Matter. One police officer in Minneapolis has been arrested, and three others were fired as a result of the killing.

District Attorney Natasha Irving also issued a statement June 1.

The killing, which was caught on video by bystanders, led to unrest and riots in major cities across the United States.

Irving – who is the chief prosecutor for Knox, Linciln, Waldo and Sagadahoc counties –said the following:

"As District Attorney, I support citizens’ First Amendment rights to protest. I have a zero tolerance policy regarding violence and destruction of property: any person who commits acts of violence or destroys property during protests will be prosecuted. Those acts are a disgrace to the principles of peace and justice that we all demand for our communities. I will provide an update in the days to come regarding policy development with county Sheriffs, local police, and the Attorney General’s office," Irving stated.

The Rockland police chief issued his statement on the Rockland department's Facebook page. The following is the full statement:

"We watched the coverage of George Floyd’s murder. And, like everyone else, we were disgusted and angry. We’re still angry about it.

"I can’t speak to what other states do in their police hiring practices and internal policies. Clearly, there are some that need dramatic reform. I can speak to how we hire officers – every full-time police officer in Maine must successfully pass polygraph testing, psychological testing and cultural diversity training. Without those, they don’t become police officers.

"I can speak to how we train our officers, with ongoing regular training in appropriate and inappropriate uses of force. I can speak to what we believe and stand for – we believe Rockland is an open, beautiful and inclusive community; a community that we’re proud to be a part of. We stand for protecting all citizens’ rights. We stand against racism in any form.

"There’s an old saying that I’d likely get wrong if I tried to directly quote it. But essentially, it says, 'The only thing needed for evil to flourish is for good people to do nothing.'

"There will be a rally today, for people to speak out against unjust police violence and especially George Floyd’s murder. We support any peaceful assembly, as it’s a protected citizens’ right. We enthusiastically support speaking out against racism and unjust police violence.

"As law enforcement, we strive to hold ourselves to a higher standard. We must begin by coming forward and condemning unjust police violence. If we remain silent in the face of injustice, we fail to protect and serve. What happened to George Floyd is despicable – it should have never happened, and should never happen again.

"We don’t believe in letting evil flourish. We stand with you."

The protest was organized by Midcoast Maine Indivisible. The protest was scheduled to start at 3 p.m. at Chapman Park at the intersection of Park and Main streets. Organizers stress on social media that this will be a peaceful protest and ask that participants wear face coverings and adhere to physical distancing because of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

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Comments (8)
Posted by: Darren Hickey | Jun 02, 2020 11:28

If you need to light your joint, there are still plenty of glowing embers in the neighborhoods of Minneapolis destroyed because everyone “in charge” was more concerned with optics and feel-goods than they were in protecting the lives and livelihoods of the citizens.

 

Your DA’s words were cautionary, not incendiary. I’ve still got splinters from boarding up my chiropractor’s gym.

 

Greetings from Minneapolis, everyone. Don’t let what happened here, happen there.



Posted by: Stephen K Carroll | Jun 02, 2020 08:42

Striking difference between Chief Youngs statement and that of the DA.  The inflamatory statement issued by the District Attorney's office leads to why many American cities are now burning.  You need understanding at this time not more authoritarian rule.  Think Boris & Natasha need to relax and smoke a joint.



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Jun 01, 2020 17:37

ROCKLAND HAS A RIGHT TO BE VERY PROUD OF THE SUPPORT RALLY THAT WAS HELD TODAY.  IT WAS AN EVENT OVERFLOWING WITH LOVE AND HEALING, BUT IT TOOK TEAMWORK FOR THAT TO HAPPEN.  

It was just what I needed to fill the hole in my gut when reading the news this morning.



Posted by: Valli Genevieve Geiger | Jun 01, 2020 15:02

Chief Young,

I appreciate you putting a caring face on law enforcement and openly carrying the message that the actions of a few bad players does not demean the intention go the majority of good law enforcement officers we have in Maine.  As the convener of the first Crisis Intervention nTeam Training for law enforcement in Know County on 2007, I appreciate your efforts to lead and to model in a way that values the livers and the welfare of all our residents and visitors alike.

Greg A Marley, LCSW

 

 



Posted by: Knight Marine Service | Jun 01, 2020 14:11

Thank you Chief Young and all of the Rockland Police Dept.  Celia Knight



Posted by: Linda Milton | Jun 01, 2020 13:40

As an African American I am proud of and very encouraged by Chief Young’s statement! The statement issued by the DA is appalling and clearly without empathy, sympathy or a clear understanding as to the horrible crime committed and the huge overarching issues associated w policing and deaths of Black people and other people of color in this country! In order for justice to be realized by all we need a DA who can at least start with a basic  understanding the problems at hand!



Posted by: Valli Genevieve Geiger | Jun 01, 2020 13:39

Thank you Chief Young for this unequivocal statement of the wrongness of what happed to Mr. Floyd, I would expect nothing less from you. Good people everywhere must demand change and reform, good policeman must not turn a blind eye when they see an officer who uses excessive force or shows racist beliefs by his actions.

Valli Geiger



Posted by: George Terrien | Jun 01, 2020 11:31

Thank you, Chief Young!



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