Tennessee Police Chief Says Officers Who ‘Don’t Have An Issue’ With George Floyd’s Death Should Turn In Badges

A picture of a police car.
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A Tennessee police chief says that officers in his department who “don’t have an issue” with the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis should turn in their badges.

Floyd was killed this week in an incident caught on video, showing a Minneapolis police officer pressing his knee to the back of Floyd’s neck and continuing to hold it there for minutes after the suspect became unresponsive. Floyd later died, kicking off days of protests across the city and calls from leaders across the country for justice in his death.

Many members of the law enforcement community have spoken out against police who conducted the arrest and ignored Floyd’s pleas that he could not breathe, including Chattanooga Police Chief David Roddy. He took to Twitter to say that the video is clear-cut and that kind of behavior should not be accepted by any police officers. Roddy tweeted his message along with a screenshot of the video showing the officer pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck.

“There is no need to see more video. There no need to wait to see how ‘it plays out.’ There is no need to put a knee on someone’s neck for NINE minutes. There IS a need to DO something. If you wear a badge and you don’t have an issue with this…turn it in.”

Roddy’s tweet has garnered viral interest, racking up more than 535,000 likes and 133,000 retweets in the days since it was posted.

Local leaders in Minnesota have expressed similar sentiments. Earlier in the week, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey called on Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman to press charges against the arresting officer. Frey said that had it been anyone but a police officer who had treated someone in that way, they would have already been arrested, via CBS Minnesota.

“We watched for five whole excruciating minutes as a white officer firmly pressed his knee into the neck of an unarmed, handcuffed black man. I saw no threat. I saw nothing that would signal that this kind of force was necessary. By the way, that particular technique that was used is not authorized by the MPD. … And it should not be used, period.”

Authorities said late on Thursday that there would not yet be any charges for the officers involved in Floyd’s arrest, but added that the investigation would continue. All four police officers involved in the arrest were fired the day after the incident.