COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association (SCLEOA) and the South Carolina Police Chiefs Association (SCPCA) released a statement Thursday, May 28, concerning the death George Floyd, a man who died in Minneapolis after being restrained with an officer kneeling on his throat.
In the statement, Ryan Alphin, executive director of both organizations, writes that cases like these must be condemned by community and law enforcement leadership.
"When something is right, defend it with all you have. When something is wrong, condemn it equally," the statement begins.
"There is no law enforcement training that teaches officers to kneel on a controlled suspect's neck."
"Police officers should be held to the highest standard and the many diverse officers I know across South Carolina want it no other way. Law enforcement is a noble profession tarnished by a small percentage of officers who are not dedicated to upholding the oath they took to serve and protect their communities. We are better when police and the community they serve work together."
The SCLEOA was created in 1941, and became the voice of law enforcement in the state.
According to the organization, more than 7,000 officers in the Palmetto State are associated with SCLEOA. It is open to all criminal justice professionals in the state.
To learn more about the organization, click here.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott also released a statement about the Floyd incident, calling it "sad beyond measure."
Richland County Investigator Chris Mastrianni, formerly a Richland County Sheriff's deputy appearing on A&E's "Live PD," tweeted on Wednesday "#GeorgeFloyd shouldn't have died."
In a Facebook post on Thursday, Kershaw County Sheriff Lee Boan said, "The officers did wrong. That’s a no-brainer. They were fired by their department. That was only the first step." He went on to say, "these few bad cops do not represent the entire law enforcement profession. Good cops need the continued support from the citizens we serve."
In a lengthy statement posted to Facebook Friday afternoon, Lexington Police Chief Terrence Green said, "Our officers take an oath to enforce the law but to do so while never employing unnecessary force or violence. What we have seen in the videos involving George Floyd was not that and I have faith that justice will be served."
In a Facebook post on Friday, Sumter County Sheriff Sheriff Anthony Dennis said, "Lasting change will only be achieved when we all agree to confront, challenge, and stand against injustice."