Birmingham police chief supports termination of officers involved in George Floyd death

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The top law enforcement official in the city of Birmingham is now weighing in on the controversy surrounding the death of George Floyd while he was being placed under arrest in Minneapolis earlier this week.

On Friday, Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith shared a message on Twitter supporting Minneapolis Chief of Police Medaria Arradondo’s decision to fire four police officers involved in Floyd’s death. Floyd, 46, died Monday while one officer had him pinned down with his knee down on his neck during an arrest.

Floyd’s death has resulted in protests across the country with many demanding justice for Floyd and that those involved be held accountable.

“Four officers are responsible for Floyd’s death, NOT just one,” Smith said in the statement. “It is imperative that we in law enforcement show respect and compassion to all communities we serve in order to maintain a positive partnership and cohesive community trust.”

Smith, a Tuscaloosa native, is no stranger to protests. Smith was an officer in the Los Angeles Police Department when the 1992 LA Riots happened across the city over the beating of Rodney King and the acquittal of the four officers caught on tape beating him. To this day, Smith points to that time as a crucial period in his law enforcement career.

“You cannot be afraid of the difficult conversations with the people who are protesting you,” Smith told Tuscaloosa magazine last year.

On Thursday, a peaceful protest was held in Birmingham to call attention to the Floyd case.


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