EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — Sheriff Bill Elder released a statement on Friday in regards to the death of George Floyd and the subsequent protests.
“Like many law enforcement leaders across the nation, I am outraged at the senseless death of George Floyd. Those responsible are a disgrace to those who wear the badge and took an oath to serve and protect. The actions of these men have been an absolute betrayal of the most essential piece we need to be effective in public safety, community trust.
Standing proudly in peaceful protest against the actions that cost George Floyd his life is your right. It is expected, and we in public safety will protect those who do. But you must do so peacefully. Mr. Floyd’s murder does not justify the mayhem, the damage, and assaultive behavior this community is experiencing nightly in the streets of Colorado Springs and across this country. Assault, murder, looting, and vandalism are not protest. They are criminal actions that cannot and will not be tolerated.
Police officers are not perfect, but the overwhelming majority are professional, respectful and selfless human beings who live in the communities they serve. On a daily basis, they run towards gunfire, as normal people run away. All too often, they lay down their own lives to protect people they have never met.
It is my expectation is that every member of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office needs to be a willing and enthusiastic ambassador of peace and information to the community we pledge to serve.”
– Sheriff Bill Elder