BOSTON (CBS) – Boston Police Commissioner William Gross called the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody, a “damned SHAME.” Gross said he supports the firing of four Minnesota officers who were involved.
Video showed an officer keeping his knee on Floyd’s neck while the handcuffed man pleads “Please, I can’t breathe.” Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo announced Tuesday that the four officers involved were “former employees.”
Gross said that he agreed with the decision to fire the officers.
My sympathy and condolences to the family of George Floyd who died after an encounter with Minneapolis Police Officers. I support the decision of Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo to terminate the four officers involved. Mr. Floyd’s death is a damned SHAME! God Bless him
— Commissioner William Gross (@BPDPCGross) May 28, 2020
Gross expanded on his comments during Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s press briefing Thursday afternoon.
“We all condemn the actions of the four officers,” said Gross. “Their actions led to the death of Mr. George Floyd. There is nowhere in any of our training manuals where kneeling on someone’s neck is a proper procedure to quell an arrestee’s behavior. That act has set policing back years. In Boston, we’re lucky that we have such a great relationship with the community. Our community policing model was one of the tops in the country. But a lot of people think the actions of a few are indicative of the actions of all police officers. That is not the case.”
Walsh tweeted Wednesday night that he was “deeply disturbed” by the incident.
I’m deeply disturbed by the death of George Floyd and my heart breaks for his family, for Minneapolis, and Black Americans everywhere. As leaders we must reflect on and learn from this tragedy and the history behind it.
— Mayor Marty Walsh (@marty_walsh) May 28, 2020
President Donald Trump said the FBI and Department of Justice are “already well into an investigation” into Floyd’s death.