Dear Editor:

The Governing Body of the Township of Scotch Plains overwhelmingly condemns the actions of Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin and the other officers who stood by and watched while Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck until he lost consciousness and ultimately died. There is a zero-tolerance policy for horrific acts of violence and acts of racism in our police department and in our community. 

At the same time, we pledge our support to the Scotch Plains Police Department. The police leadership, specifically Chief Conley (and in conjunction with Fanwood Chief Trigo) released a statement also condemning these actions. Our police department has worked hard to establish and build trust in our community, and our sincere hope is that this horrific incident in Minnesota will not diminish these efforts. Several years ago, our governing body implemented body worn cameras to protect the both the officers and the public during police interaction.

Sign Up for Scotch Plains/Fanwood Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Scotch Plains is and remains No Place for Hate!  Incidents like this remind us that there is still much work to do with racial healing in our country. The history of hate and oppression in our country should not be forgotten. We must use this as a time to reflect and continue to educate ourselves as a community.   And, as a community, continue to work on the local level to be proactive with thoughtful and ongoing communication.  Teams such as Truth and Racial Healing, the SPF Ministerium and Social Justice Matters are so important during any time of crisis and injustice, and we are thankful that these teams are part of our community.

Related: We Raise Our Voices Against Oppression and in Support of Justice

We’ve all seen the protests around the country that turned to violence. Although we acknowledge the feelings people have, we are proud of our community’s peaceful response and reactions to this crime,and we stand united in our commitment to providing equitable and just leadership for all our residents.

Signed

Mayor Al Smith
Deputy Mayor Josh Losardo
Councilman Ted Spera, Councilwoman Elizabeth Stamler, Councilman Roc White