Sen. Champagne Releases Statement on George Floyd

June 5, 2020

“As a retired police officer of 22 years, I was sickened by the video depicting the brutal death of George Floyd at the hands of 4 Minneapolis police officers. While I may not know the reason for Mr. Floyd’s arrest, the actions of these four officers is reprehensible. Police brutality like this, or of any other sort, is unacceptable.

It is also unacceptable that incidents like this continue to lead to the deaths of men and women in our country. Police officers take an oath to “serve and protect” their communities. This oath is not bound by race, gender or creed. The safety and well-being of all community members should be the main objective of any person who wears a badge. As such, racism has no place among law enforcement, or anywhere else in our nation. I challenge the many other upstanding men and women in law enforcement to call out racism in any form: hold your colleagues accountable. All police officers, unions and administrations must be held accountable to prevent further senseless killings—killings of the very citizens that they are bound to protect and serve.

In Connecticut, we have always taken the matter of police conduct and public safety very seriously. In 2015, the legislature passed a bipartisan bill that addressed this matter. Also, last year the legislature took meaningful steps to address the use of force and accountability through the passage and signing into law of Senate Bill 380; I was proud to support this important legislation. This was a bipartisan bill and is a significant measure to hold police officers accountable for their actions. However, we must continue this conversation so that there are not any more tragic incidents like that of Mr. Floyd, and his death is not in vain.

As I mentioned earlier, racism and injustice have no place in our society. As a free nation, let us not forget a key tenet that ultimately unites us: “…liberty and justice for all.””

-Senator Dan Champagne, 35th Senate District