Milwaukee mayor, police chief address George Floyd death and protests

NOW: Milwaukee mayor, police chief address George Floyd death and protests

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- A number of Milwaukee leaders spoke out about the death of George Floyd, who died after an officer in Minneapolis used his knee on Floyd's neck to pin him to the ground, as Floyd said he couldn't breathe. 

His death sparked outrage and protests. 

Thursday, the Milwaukee Police Department released a video that included Chief Alfonso Morales talking about Floyd's death. 

"The tragic incident that recently took place in Minneapolis is an incident we must all take seriously," he said, "The Milwaukee Police Department has come extremely far at rebuilding trust with our community and we'll continue to work together to make Milwaukee a safer place to live, work, and raise a family."

He said he has addressed the incident with members of the police department and reminded them to rely on their professionalism and training. 

"Despite the recent unfortunate tragedy, as well as the tragedy that took place involving an off-duty Milwaukee member, the men and women of the Milwaukee Police Department remain committed to protecting and serving the residents of our community," said Morales, referring to Officer Michael Mattioli who was charged earlier this month in the death of Joel Acevedo. 

Morales said he stands by a statement "wholeheartedly" that was released by the Major Cities Chiefs Association:

The death of Mr. Floyd is deeply disturbing and should be of concern to all Americans.
The officers’ actions are inconsistent with the training and protocols of our profession and MCCA commends Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo for his swift and decisive action to terminate the employment of the officers involved. MCCA members have worked tirelessly to build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
What occurred in Minneapolis is a sobering reminder of how quickly bad policing can undermine that trust. The law enforcement community must do better and hold ourselves to a higher standard.
We extend our deepest condolences to the Floyd family and will lift them up in prayer during this difficult time.

"The horrific murder of George Floyd that America has witnessed is shocking, undefendable, and unjustifiable," said Mayor Tom Barrett, "America witnessed a murder and it underscores the very serious challenges we face in combating racism in our country." 

"When I learned about Mr. Floyd's death it was, it hurt. To continue to see this type of violence that's happening between the police departments and communities of color, we have to do everything we can to bridge that communication gap," said County Executive David Crowley. 

There are at least two protests planned in Milwaukee Friday. One at 5 p.m. for Joel Acevedo that will be held at 45th and Cleveland near Officer Mattioli's home. 

The other will take place at 27th and Center at 1 p.m. 

"I would simply ask residents throughout this community who are outraged as I was to see that video to remain calm, this is not a time for civil unrest" said Barrett, "This is a time for soul searching, this is a time for honest conversation, this is a time where we take steps to deal with this community and this nation face."

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