The heinous killing of George Floyd, a handcuffed suspect, held down on the ground with a knee to his throat for over 8 minutes, is completely inexcusable. When he was seen to be unconscious, responding officers failed to react and render necessary aid. The Minneapolis officer and the three other officers present, who did not intervene, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
The anger, even rage, felt by people who saw the video is understandable. Protests are expected and protected under our First Amendment rights of Free Speech and Freedom of Assembly. But these protests must be peaceful, and not turn to violence. This is keeping in character with two of history’s most influential freedom and justice fighters: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.
I served in law enforcement for 12 years in Los Angeles, California. I can tell you for certain that no one hates a dirty cop more than a clean,honest cop. During my service in LA, I worked and lived through the 1992 riots caused by the acquittal of three of the four police officers involved in the beating of Rodney King. 63 were killed and over 2,300 were injured during those violent riots.
Right now, our Iowa communities are under attack and threat of violence, looting, arson, and vandalism. It is not safe for our children to play outside in many neighborhoods, it is not safe for our grandmothers, mothers, and spouses to go to the store. Frankly, it is not safe for many people to adequately defend themselves and their properties during this time without firearms.
I stand with members of our community who are respectfully exercising their First Amendment rights in a peaceful way. Their cause is just, and we can’t let the bad actions of a few distract from the overall goals and message of these protests.
I stand with our local and state law enforcement, whom I trust, to prosecute these destructive acts, whether it is arson, brick-throwing, stealing, or assault.
We must be vigilant to defend our families, our homes, our businesses, and our American way of life.
I call for prayer, unity, and peace. Let’s pray fervently, protect our most vulnerable, and let these reckless rioters know they are trampling on the memory of George Floyd. We cannot let them trample on his legacy or our freedom and safety.