GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)- In South Carolina, condemnation of the incident that led to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis is coming from all sides- from politicians to law enforcement and community leaders.
S.C. Rep. Leola Robinson fought for civil rights in the ’60s in Greenville. She said the death of George Floyd brought back dark memories.
“We saw a lot of killings in Tennessee, Alabama, [and] Mississippi of young black students at that time,” Robinson said. “I’m sick of it.”
She said she would like to see a new federal court established to hold law enforcement officers accountable when someone dies at their hands.
“All you have to do is to treat them like we treat everybody else who commits a crime,” she said.
Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis called the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis ‘horrific.’
In a statement, Sheriff Lewis said as law enforcement officers, we are sworn to ‘to cease ANY and ALL use of force once a suspect is under control and what I watched in that video was outright criminal.’
Anderson County Sheriff Chad McBride took to Facebook to share his thoughts, calling Floyd’s death ‘senseless’ and ‘tragic.’ He went on to say that he strives every day to ensure that his deputies protect everyone in their community regardless of gender or color.
Statewide law enforcement leaders in South Carolina also condemned the officers’ actions in Minneapolis.
“We would be doing a disservice to the good men and women who police their communities every day if we didn’t condemn that,” said Ryan Alphin, who is the executive director of the South Carolina Police Chiefs’ Association.
The president of the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association, Anthony Dennis, echoed that sentiment, posting on Facebook, ‘We as law enforcement leaders must be willing to acknowledge, challenge and stand against injustice- of every kind.’
Rev. J.M. Flemming, who is the president of the Greenville branch of the NAACP, released a statement calling for a dialog among those of all cultures and ages, saying, ‘our society will not survive unless we break this choke-hold of hatred, racism, and violence.’
At the federal level, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott has called for more body cameras, better reporting on police shootings, and improved training.
Sen. Lindsey Graham also called for justice.
“It’s hard to watch that video and not be upset” Graham said. “But we have a system in place; let’s make it better…let’s use it.”