Friday, 10 July 2020

Lakeport Police, officers association respond to death of George Floyd, ensuing riots and criminal behavior

Lakeport Police Department personnel. Courtesy photo.

LAKEPORT, Calif. – Like other law enforcement and citizens across this country, we watched the disturbing video where we saw our fellow American George Floyd die during a police use of force after he was taken into custody by Minneapolis Police Officers this past Monday.

Both the actions and inactions we saw are not consistent with the values and principles, policies or training by which law enforcement in this country should operate with our mission of respecting and protecting the rights of all individuals.

We commend Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo and Hennepin County Prosecutor Mike Freeman for their swift action to investigate, hold officers accountable and ensure that justice is served.

The United States of America, under our Constitution, has a justice system that is designed to ensure the equal protection of all people. While it may not always seem that our system moves fast enough or the right outcome is achieved, it is upon all of us to allow the system a chance to work.

Normally we would not comment on a situation such as this outside of our jurisdiction, but it is evoking actions that are further dividing our country.

Additionally, we are seeing questions from the local community about what policies, procedures or training we have in place to prevent excessive or inappropriate police use of force here and on the other hand preventing violent riots, looting and destruction.

Let us be clear that the Lakeport Police Department has good and appropriate policies, procedures and training in place to ensure that we respect and protect the rights of all people, that excessive force is not used and immediate intervention is taken when necessary.

For decades we have been increasing and adapting our training and policies and using deescalation tactics to ensure that only that amount of force necessary is used to overcome resistance in the interest of protecting ourselves, the public and the person who the force is used upon.

We also support and are happy to help facilitate freedom of speech and the right of the people to peaceably assemble and protest to have their voices heard. This is the way to work together to make changes.

However, the majority of what we have been seeing filling our news feeds and televisions over the past few days and now getting even closer to home have not been protests, but rather riots and flat out criminal behavior that does nothing to honor the memory of American citizen George Floyd or any other person who has suffered an injustice in this nation.

We are seeing disturbing reports in dozens of cities across this land where officers are being assaulted or threatened with death, innocent people being killed and assaulted, businesses, police stations, city halls, police cars, police and military memorials being vandalized, looted, burned and destroyed.

For what purpose? We have already suffered enough and American people are further destroying this land. This is behavior we can never tolerate and is not a way to effect change.

We do not have all the answers but we do know that if we are to survive as the greatest nation on earth we need to find the right way to come together to solve problems and make the right changes for all.

We are proud to lead a team of officers and support personnel who are committed to providing equal protection and protecting and respecting the rights of all persons – the American people.

We are also proud to work in a community where our citizens have chosen to work with us as a team for the betterment of our community. We firmly believe that decades of community policing and partnerships have led to that success and is why we do not see the criminal behavior here that we see in some other places.

We further believe this message we received this week from a local resident says a lot in support of our beliefs:

“Law enforcement everywhere is being confronted by challenging times and troubling circumstances. I wish you and your entire LPD team safety, continued good health and success in maintaining order and keeping the peace here in LC. I think folks here in LC are fortunate to have careful and conscientious peace officers around who think before they act. I hope and pray that your officers continue to be appreciated and are not drawn into any violent or fatal circumstances. No need to respond- just a grateful comment. Thank you.”

If anyone has questions or concerns about our policies, training, or other procedures on how the Lakeport Police Department operates to ensure our interactions with the people are with the utmost professionalism, integrity, dignity, respect and equal protection for all please feel free to contact the chief of police at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 707-263-9650, or for that matter, any of your Lakeport Police team members because we know they have these same commitments.

Chief Brad Rasmussen leads the Lakeport Police Department. Officer Tyler Trouette is president of the Lakeport Police Officers Association.

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