MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An open letter claiming to express the view of hundreds of Minneapolis police officers says that they “wholeheartedly condemn Derek Chauvin,” the former officer accused of killing George Floyd.
“Like us, Derek Chauvin took an oath to hold the sanctity of life most precious,” the letter says. “Derek Chauvin failed as a human and stripped George Floyd of his dignity and life. This is not who we are.”
The short letter, which was obtained by WCCO-TV, is addressed to the citizens of Minneapolis and signed by 14 officers who claim to speak for hundreds of officers at all levels in the department. They say their words are not those of the administration or the police union.
“We are with you and want to communicate a sentiment that is broad within our ranks,” the letter says. “We ask that our voices be heard.”
The letter expresses firm confidence in Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, who outlined Wednesday his vision for reforming the department.
“We stand ready to listen and embrace the calls for change, reform and rebuilding,” the letter says. “We are with you moving forward. We want to work with you and for you to regain your trust.”
The letter does not address the other three former Minneapolis police officers charged in Floyd’s death, nor does it touch on recent calls from city leaders to defund and dismantle the police department.
The officers who signed the letter are Mark Klukow, Charlie Adams, Darcy Klund, Christie Nelson, Nick Torborg, Mike Kirchen, Pete Stanton, Gary Nelson, Rich Jackson, Mohamed Abdullahi, Molly Fischer, Steve McCarty, John Delmonico, and Richard Zimmerman.
Read full letter below:
“We wholeheartedly condemn Derek Chauvin. We Are With You in the denouncement of Derek Chauvin’s actions on Memorial Day, 2020. Like us, Derek Chauvin took an oath to hold the sanctity of life most precious. Derek Chauvin failed as a human and stripped George Floyd of his dignity and life. This is not who we are.
We Are With You and want to communicate a sentiment that is broad within our ranks. We ask that our voices be heard. We are leaders, formal and informal, and from all ranks within the Minneapolis Police Department. We’re not the union or the administration. We are officers who represent the voices of hundreds of other Minneapolis Police Officers. Hundreds. We acknowledge that Chief Arradondo needs each of us to dutifully follow him while he shows us the way. We stand ready to listen and embrace the calls for change, reform and rebuilding. We Are With You moving forward.
We want to work with you and for you to regain your trust.”