Members of the Minneapolis Police Department spoke out on Friday out against former police officer Derek Chauvin in an open letter addressed to “everyone – but especially Minneapolis citizens.”
“Derek Chauvin failed as a human and stripped George Floyd of his dignity and life. This is not who we are,” said the letter, signed by fourteen MPD officers. “We’re not the union or the administration,” the letter says.
“We stand ready to listen and embrace the calls for change, reform and rebuilding,” says the letter, which comes as powerful police unions across the country are digging in, preparing for a once-in-a-generation showdown over policing and new polls that indicate that most Americans now acknowledge that African Americans are more likely to be mistreated or even killed by police.
“There were many more willing to sign, but the group opted to showcase people from across the PD as well as male/female, black/white, straight/gay, leader/frontline, etc. Internally, this is sending a message” said Paul Omodt, a spokesperson for the officers who penned the open letter.
Most of the officers hold ranks of lieutenant or sergeant, according to Omodt.
Derek Chauvin, who pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, was charged with second-degree murder, and the three other officers on scene – Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng – have been charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.
Chauvin’s bail was set at $1.25 million earlier this week.
See the letter
CNN’s Eric Levenson and Carma Hassan contributed to this story.