PHOENIX — Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams spoke out Friday morning about the death of George Floyd in Minnesota and protests that happened in Phoenix Thursday night.
Crowds had gathered downtown demanding justice for Floyd, who died after an officer, who has since been charged, knelt on his neck for several minutes during his arrest.
“While I don’t know all the circumstances around his death, I’ve seen the video. I, too, like most of the country and other chiefs around the country, are absolutely outraged with what I saw. It does not reflect the values of this noble profession we call policing, and it certainly doesn’t align with the expectations I have, you have, of the Phoenix Police Department," Chief Williams said during the Friday press conference. “We’re committed to protecting life and working with, and serving, our community.”
Peaceful overnight protests took a turn to unlawful assembly, resulting in several arrests and damaged property.
Chief Williams said, "Unfortunately, the actions of a small group of individuals changed that peaceful protest to one that was criminal...We do respect all those who want to exercise their First Amendment Rights peacefully and we support that, but we cannot and will not tolerate criminal activity which endangers our community, our officers, and other demonstrators."
Watch the full press conference below: