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Posted on: June 4, 2020

County Attorney Bill Ring's response to the death of George Floyd

CCBOS-1039(1)

With regard to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota:

As the County Attorney of Coconino County, a land with great diversity of peoples, I condemn as intolerable the disgusting abuse we see in video and news media coverage of the death of George Floyd. Mr. Floyd should never have lost his life that day. Our shared Constitutional right to due process assured him that he would live through a compliant encounter with law enforcement. Except as we all have seen, trust in the equal application of that promise was tragically broken by callousness and plain old deplorable meanness.

The fair administration of justice requires that the Minneapolis District Attorney and the Minnesota Attorney General review all the available evidence such as civilian videos, body-worn police cameras, eyewitness statements, statements from the officers if they choose to give them, and a complete forensic autopsy. The weight of the evidence will dictate those who are accused and their charges, along with the course of prosecution in pursuit of justice. The process of criminal justice is deliberate for a reason. We must seek what is true by way of what is correct so that the result is complete and the answers we learn are the basis for the restorative work ahead of us.

And yet there are the many peoples’ collective history of long walks and painful experiences that drive civil protests. Protestation and righteous discontent have been the driver of change in our democracy. I respect the right to grieve. Grievance can be uncomfortably loud at times and nonetheless be completed peacefully. I have always been proud of our community’s abilities in this regard. But like Dr. King, I do not condone violence. Mr. Floyd’s ultimate legacy will be a national commitment to improve our attitudes on race and justice, law enforcement training and performance review, and our commitment to achieve equal justice for all.

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