The crowd that gathered in Carillon Park in downtown Centralia Sunday night. Photo by Caden Cole.
Centralia Police Chief Greg Dodson is expressing disgust with the senseless and tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
At the same time, Dodson says he is proud of the members of the Centralia community who have chosen to express their outrage and gather to protest their actions in a positive non-violent or destructive way.
“When you look around the country and some of the other things that have happened that we see on TV, it just makes you just that much more proud of the members of our community that we didn’t devolve into that and that we expressed ourselves in an appropriate manner that leads towards leading us forward together instead of dividing us.”
Dodson briefly talked to about two dozen of the protestors Sunday night, encouraging them to protest in a safe way and out of the way of traffic.
In response to the video of Floyd’s death, Dodson was saddened by what he observed. He feels police should be held to the highest standard. As law enforcement leaders, Dodson says it is our responsibility to hold officers accountable when violations of the use of force occur.
Dodson adds they have an obligation to provide proper training to their officers involving procedural justice, use of force, and de-escalation techniques. When incidents such as this occur, the chief feels it violates the oath they took as police officers to treat all individuals with dignity and respect.
Dodson says these incidents erode the trust built by the police officers across the country who have dedicated their lives to a career of service. He reports actions like this cannot be tolerated. Dodson concludes his comments by saying he does not want the actions of these four officers in Minneapolis to define the police profession or the values of the Centralia Police Department, as actions like these couldn’t be further from what we stand for.