Last week, we all were shocked to see video of Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, resulting in his death. The resulting protests and civil unrest are not only alarming but reflective of the frustration and division felt by people in this nation. The stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic have created a tinder box of fear and uncertainty, exploding onto urban streets in violence. The actions in Minneapolis are not a reflection of the good officers who show up to work every day to do the right thing.

The Colville Tribal Police Department does not condone the use of force used by Chauvin and the three former officers who did not seriously consider the complaints of Mr. Floyd. We share in the grief of communities of color around the nation who have been impacted. The department takes its responsibility to our local community and the tribal membership very seriously because we are staffed by tribal members and other local individuals whose intentions have always been to serve and protect. 

Anyone who takes the life of another should be held accountable. Our officers have been and will continue to be held to a higher standard of behavior, with the acknowledgement that life is a sacred gift. Our hope now is that justice is provided for the family of George Floyd and peace is restored to this nation. 

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