Editor's note: In response to the death of George Floyd, a black man, while under the custody of ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a white cop, and the national demonstrations that have followed calling for reform in the police community in relation to people of color, Northern Illinois Police Chief Tom Phillips issued the following statement Saturday night. Chauvin was arrested and charged with murder Friday. Rallies across the country have erupted as a result of police-involved killings, and a Black Lives Matter rally was held in DeKalb Saturday.
To Our Community:
The appalling events of the past few days, beginning with the needless killing of Mr. George Floyd earlier this week have been difficult to watch and even harder to process. As violence and destruction erupts across the nation, I share in our national feeling of disappointment, frustration, and sadness, and I openly ask for peace during this difficult time.
As a career police professional, it was revolting to watch the officers’ encounter with Mr. Floyd and their hesitation to do the right thing when it mattered the most. It is also frustrating when actions such as this continue to erode the trust and legitimacy many of us in policing work so diligently to strengthen, especially in communities of color. But most of all, I am saddened. There are no words that can be said to adequately express the heartfelt remorse for Mr. Floyd and his family. I, along with all of NIU Police and Public Safety are sorrowed by his pointless death and please know that you have our collective and deepest sympathy.
We at NIU Police and Public Safety strive to maintain the highest standards in ethical behavior in modern policing through ongoing training, transparency, and accountability to the socially rich and culturally diverse people that we serve. As the chief, I promise to all of you that that we are dedicated to the protection of all human life and we will continue to treat all community members fair and impartial, with dignity and respect.
Thomas R. Phillips, Sr.
NIU Chief of Police and Public Safety