Snoqualmie’s Police Chief Perry Phipps issued a statement on protests which have followed in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
Floyd was killed on Memorial Day as Minneapolis police kneed him in the neck for nearly 10 minutes. His death sparked ongoing nationwide protests, including large demonstrations in Seattle and Bellevue over the last week.
Phipps said in his statement that he was dismayed after watching the video of Floyd’s death, and said the officers involved should be held accountable.
“Therefore, I support all of the peaceful protests that are occurring around our country. The Snoqualmie Police Department sees and hears these serious concerns! What I do not agree with and do not support is the violence and lawlessness that has been accruing in so many communities,” he wrote.
In Snoqualmie, a peaceful protest was held on May 30.
Protests in Seattle and across the Eastside have been met with heavy police response. Many blamed police for escalating tensions over the last week in Seattle, where the largest protests have been held. On June 1, a peaceful demonstration in Seattle’s Capitol Hill turned ugly after an officer grabbed a protesters umbrella and Seattle Police Department began tear gassing those who assembled.
In Bellevue on May 31, a protest against police violence was held in Bellevue Square. Seattle and Bellevue over the last week have called and cancelled various curfew orders. Several Eastside cities also followed suite.
The protests across the country and sought an end to police violence against black people in America. It has also netted significant concessions from elected officials where protests have occurred to reduce budgets and improve relationships with communities.
Phipps’ full statement can be read below:
Dear Snoqualmie Community,
We in law enforcement have had many recent successes in how we serve our communities, yet the death of George Floyd has exposed that we must do better. I strongly believe that 99% of the law enforcement officers in our country were upset and angry upon watching the video. I was personally offended and dismayed by the actions of the officers involved in Minneapolis and I have no doubt that they should and will be held accountable for their actions. I have proudly worn a badge for over 34 years and to have an officer(s) tarnish the badge and destroy the relationships that we have worked so hard to develop in our community is frustrating and ultimately it has compromised the honor that the badge represents and that I have enjoyed for those 34 years. It is a shame.
Therefore, I support all of the peaceful protests that are occurring around our country. The Snoqualmie Police Department sees and hears these serious concerns! What I do not agree with and do not support is the violence and lawlessness that has been occurring in so many communities.
I assure you that each and every Snoqualmie police officer can, in their own words, express their absolute belief and understanding that the actions on May 25th that resulted in the death of George Floyd were not congruent with the oath we swore to uphold, but more importantly that the values that we hold dear, and all law abiding citizens hold dear, were violated. We are committed to serving with honor and integrity and we clearly understand that it is our duty and responsibility to serve all people with respect. We also know that the badge we wear is a symbol of faith that the public entrusts us with and that trust has been weakened. It is now our responsibility to continue with our commitment of partnering with our community to earn that trust each and every day.
The Snoqualmie Police Department is committed to provide public safety that is focused on justice for all.
And finally, thank you to everyone who has reached out to us or contacted us with encouraging words and support, it is very much appreciated.
With respect and hope,
Chief of Police
Snoqualmie Police Department