Local leaders react to death of George Floyd, voice concerns


GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Many parts of the country are seeing protests, sometimes violent, of a controversial case in Minnesota.

George Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck during his arrest.

Floyd pleaded with officers, saying he could not breathe.

The officer who knelt on Floyd’s neck is in custody, facing a murder charge.

Pitt County officials and people in the community tell 9OYS they’re disgusted over Floyd’s death and the turmoil it’s caused. 

“It certainly was not a textbook procedure that I would expect officers to use. With the many officers that were there you know I certainly was confused as to why this occurred the way that it did,” says Pitt County Sheriff Paula Dance.

Minneapolis police officers were called to a suspected forgery case on Monday. 

George Floyd was arrested by officers, one of them holding Floyd to the ground, with his knee on Floyd’s neck.

Floyd pleaded with officers, saying he couldn’t breathe.

He later died.

Local officials say they are tired of acts of brutality against African Americans, especially those at the hands of police.

“Law-enforcement officers when they see another law-enforcement officer doing something that’s not right there supposed to call them on it they’re supposed to say no they’re supposed to say stop do something take an action don’t just stand there,” states Sheriff Dance.

The Floyd incident comes as the Black community is being affected disproportionately by the coronavirus. 

“Mr. Floyd was judged by the color of his skin. Because of deep-seated racism that has gone on in this country and because of blacks being denied access to healthcare we suffer from diabetes obesity heart condition stress and then the other issues that caused us to be very vulnerable to the coronavirus,” says Calvin Henderson, President of the Pitt County NAACP chapter.

Sonya Edmonds of Greenville wants more unity and change.

She says, “You just have to have people that keep standing up and it has to be everyone, it can’t just be Black people, can’t just be white people it has to be everyone. Everyone has to come together and know that stuff like this is wrong.”

Minnesota prosecutors say the police officer seen in the video is now facing murder and manslaughter charges. 

Pitt County leaders say it’s not enough to “not be racist.”

They say we must actively be “anti-racist.”

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