Niagara's Chief of Police 'immensely disturbed' by George Floyd's death

Brian MAc Culloch

The Niagara Regional Police chief says the death of George Floyd is a dark mark on all police services.

Chief Bryan MacCulloch says he was immensely disturbed when the initial video of Floyd's death while in police custody emerged a week ago.

After a weekend of violent protests on both sides of the border, MacCulloch says, "Nobody wants to see that type of violence destroy a community. You can certainly understand the reasons for the protests and I would just implore that those protests be peaceful and the message gets across. It is getting across. It's roaring across the world right now and I think those voices as they amplify are going to result in change. I don't think lawmakers in the US can continue to turn a blind eye to what is going on."

Floyd's brother Terrence is also calling for calm, saying his brother stood for peace.

When asked to reflect on the differences between our police and those south of the border, MacCulloch says our officers have a higher degree of accountability and oversight.

"We have adequacy standards, we have oversight mechanisms like the SIU, the Office of the Independent Review Director, The Ontario Civilian Police Commission. So I think it really underscores to the public that officers here in Niagara, here in Ontario, here in Canada will be held to a higher level of account."

He also points to the NRPS's Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan and the Chief of Police's Community Inclusion Council as steps taken to ensure all voices are heard locally.

Over the weekend MacCulloch sent out a tweet stating the NRP is committed to delivering bias-free policing saying, 'We are stronger and safer when we work together.'

George Floyd died after an officer held him on the ground with a knee on his throat, despite Floyd's repeated warning that he couldn't breathe.

The officer was arrested on Friday and charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.


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