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A Message from Chief Chandler

Post Date:05/28/2020 9:26 AM
To the citizens of Westerville, 

I feel compelled to share with you some thoughts surrounding the recent tragedy in Minneapolis. Like many of you, I watched the needless death of George Floyd on video in disbelief. It shocked my conscience, I could not believe what I was seeing. Looking at it through the eyes of someone who has spent nearly his entire adult life as a police officer, I was angry. Like many of you, I find it hard to put into words how I feel about this situation.  

This thoughtless, selfish act and lack of integrity tarnished the badge and will put many lives in danger across the nation. As police officers, at times we do need to use force to protect innocent lives, and there can be a fight. But even when someone commits a crime and is being detained or arrested, they deserve to be afforded basic human decency. We are charged with protecting life and property and in this case, the officers in question made the choice not to protect life. In doing so, a life and so much more was taken from the family, the community and even from law enforcement officers across the country.  

This incident will result in strained police and community relations in Minneapolis and countless other cities nationwide for months if not years ahead. Law enforcement agencies need a relationship of trust within their communities in order to effectively protect the life and safety of residents and visitors.  

The Westerville Division of Police cares about our relationship with the community and we understand there needs to be a foundation of trust in order to provide you with the best possible service.  

There are no words that can mend the hurt in hearts across this nation, but as a police officer and a police chief, I felt the need to speak out. I am proud to be a police officer as are many others across the nation who have devoted our lives to protecting the public. The lack of human decency shown to George Floyd is unacceptable and my condolences go out to his family.      

Chief Charles Chandler

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