A Career Law Enforcement Officer's Perspective on George Floyd and Rioting

Below is a letter by Larry Smith, a 28-year career veteran (retired) professional Law Enforcement Officer sharing his perspective on the George Floyd murder by Minneapolis police and the ensuing demonstrations erupting across our country.  -Waddy, OC GOP Chair

Like so many I watched with disgust at the senseless killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin as other officers stood by and watched.  Having spent 28 years in the law enforcement profession with the Durham Police Department before retiring as the Interim Chief, this is not how I want to see citizens treated at the hands of those sworn to protect life. The vast majority of police officers go out every day and serve their communities with honor, and this is not representative of the law enforcement profession as a whole.

I applaud the swift arrest of the officer in this case and hope to see justice served for the Floyd family.  I understand the outcry from communities around the country and fully support our first amendment right to protest.  However, the injustice of what happened to Mr. Floyd has been lost and hijacked by those who have sought to riot by destroying property and assaulting citizens and police officers.  This is no longer about the death of Mr. Floyd but about opportunists looking for a reason to loot and destroy property.  We have seen some of our largest cities seemingly on the verge of anarchy.  There must be a stop to this type of activity before real conversation and dialogue can be had about policing in America. 

I pray for the Floyd family and for those who have lost loved ones and property during this trying time.  We must maintain a sense of common decency and mutual respect if we are going to see our nation continue to prosper.

- Larry C. Smith