The police chiefs of San Diego and Chula Vista issued statements Thursday addressing the arrest of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, which, coupled with his in-custody death soon after, sparked protests spanning the country.
Video shows a now fired Minneapolis police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he, already detained and in handcuffs, repeatedly tells the arresting officer that he can't breathe.
In a tweet, Chief Nisleit called on all of law enforcement to look inward.
“The SDPD expresses its condolences to the family of George Floyd. Our profession must do better. We will continue to work tirelessly to build trust, establish clear policies, ensure consistent training, and maintain open and honest dialogue with our communities," he said.
Bishop Cornelius Bowser, a longtime leader in the San Diego's black community who has also worked on issues involving the community-police relations, said he appreciated the chief's message.
“I appreciate that, and I thank him for doing that,” Bowser said. “The community and law enforcement most definitely have to come together and be willing to understand each other’s traumas. I think the work has been done in a sense, we need to implement it."
The Chula Vista Police Department also relayed a statement from its chief, Roxanne Kennedy, on Twitter.
The statement read in part, "Watching the video of Mr. Floyd's death was disturbing to me, as it should be to anyone who wears or has ever worn the badge."
"Regardless of the ultimate course of the criminal justice system, this much seems clear: Mr. Floyd's death could have been prevented," Chief Kennedy's statement continued.
Bowser said a task force under the Obama Administration put in place procedural principles of justice. Among them, everyone should treat everyone else with dignity and respect.
“You’re not treating an individual with dignity and respect when you have him on the ground, a knee to his neck, he’s yelling for help, with his (the officer’s) hands in his pocket, five to six minutes," Bowser added.