LITTLE ROCK (KATV) — As protests spread across the country on Friday, Little Rock's police chief took to Facebook to address the police-involved death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minneapolis.
Chief Keith Humphrey said on Friday afternoon that he was angered and disgusted by the actions of an officer who was videoed kneeling on the 46-year-old's throat.
"It does not appear that [Floyd] was causing any danger to those officers or the community," Humphrey said in a video posted by the Little Rock Police Department. "There's nothing we can say to justify the actions of that officer."
Humphrey said that less than one percent of police officers are giving the entire profession a bad name.
"99 percent of the officers doing their job, just want to do their job," Humphrey said. "I can't explain it. I do know that some shootings are justified...but there have been incidents that have not been justified."
He called for a complete, thorough, and fair investigation into the officers involved.
"I do wear the hat of a police chief, but I'm also an African American male," Humphrey said. "I totally understand both sides...Unfortunately, when things like this happen, we take 20 steps backward after taking three steps forward."
Humphrey said he does not believe something like what happened to Floyd would happen in Little Rock because of racial intelligence training and engagement classes Little Rock officers are required to take. But he did say he is concerned for his African American grandson's safety, because "who knows." He advised parents to teach their children to comply with police officers.
"We must remember that the person that was killed, or who died, was someone's father, someone's husband, son...it was a human being," Humphrey said. "That's my job, to remind my officers that everyone we encounter are human beings."
As for the thousands of protestors who have been videoed setting buildings on fire and smashing police vehicle windows, he mentioned the civil rights movement, saying "don't damage those legacies by damaging those properties."
"You have a right to protest, but do so peacefully," Humphrey said.