Haverhill, Methuen Mayors and Police Chiefs Condemn Death of George Floyd in Minneapolis

George Floyd, a black man, died while in police custody on May 25 in Minneapolis. (Courtesy photograph.)

The mayors and police chiefs of Haverhill and Methuen have condemned the actions of the Minneapolis Police Department that resulted in the death of George Floyd last week.

In separate statements for each city, Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini and Police Chief Alan R. DeNaro and Methuen Mayor Neil Perry and Police Chief Joseph E. Solomon echoed the sentiment of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, which called said it “denounces the egregious actions taken by four members of the Minneapolis Police Department.” The joint statement by Fiorentini and DeNaro said police have already been speaking to community leaders and plan a “community discussion” later this week.

“The Haverhill Police Department and the mayor’s office have a strong and active relationship with the city’s minority community, and we pledge to stand with them in their fight against this injustice,” read the Haverhill statement. It added, “The city and its police officers will always be resolutely committed to keeping our city safe and treating our residents with respect.”

Floyd, a black man, died while in police custody on May 25 in Minneapolis.

Mayor Perry said he joins in “the collective mourning and call for action.” He added, “Police officers are sworn to protect life, and the actions of a few officers in Minnesota this week have shaken us all.”

Solomon said, “The violent methods used by Minneapolis Police are not consistent with proper training and actions of a modern police department. In Massachusetts, our officers are trained not to apply pressure to the neck or throat and to never place a suspect on their face. These practices have been shown prior to Minneapolis to risk tragic results and they have resulted in the loss of human life before this most recent tragedy.”

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