O'Halleran Statement on Death of George Floyd

May 30, 2020
Press Release
VILLAGE OF OAK CREEK—Today, Congressman Tom O'Halleran (AZ-01) issued the following statement:
"I continue to be shocked and saddened by what happened to George Floyd. The videos released show cruelty and utter indifference to Mr. Floyd – not just by the officer who put his knee to his throat, but also by the other officers at the scene. At the time he was pleading for his life, Mr. Floyd was restrained and not resisting arrest. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with his family and friends.
"I am a former police officer and homicide detective. I took the oath to serve and protect our communities and to uphold the Constitution. Policing is a dangerous profession, and officers need to be alert to potential dangers in any given situation. However, we were trained on how to assess and address threats to people. In this situation, the threat to Mr. Floyd was obvious. Forcing a knee in someone’s throat is not a restraining technique permitted by any training I am aware of, and it is something I never witnessed as an officer.
"Sadly, this is not a new type of occurrence. We need to review how racism and racial biases impact each step of the criminal justice system, including policing. We, as a country, need to address these disparities—not just within the criminal justice system, but also more broadly in society. We need to improve our understanding of racism. This will allow us to work toward a better future."