Craven County Sheriff Chip Hughes issued the following statement:
“The heinous act perpetrated on George Floyd was reprehensible. The video clearly shows a Minneapolis Police Officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck until the life left his body. I am disgusted by what I saw, a man clearly under the control of police, begging for his life as bystanders pleaded with the officers to allow him to breathe.
“As law enforcement professionals, we must set aside our fears, concerns and worries about speaking out against what we know to be wrong and hold ourselves and each other to a higher standard. Remaining silent only serves to enable such behavior and can lead to the public perceiving this type of behavior as being condoned by others in the law enforcement community. We can work for years doing it right, but to allow a situation like what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis go unchecked or unanswered can undo all of that positive work in the blink of an eye.
“Law enforcement is about connecting with our citizens by way of mutual respect, seeking opportunities to resolve issues in partnership, rather than the ‘us against them’ mentality. We must do more to prevent this from ever happening again, and it starts with those of us within the law enforcement community demanding better and settling for nothing less!
“My thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of George Floyd, the Minneapolis Police Department and the entire Minneapolis community.”