NEWBURYPORT — Mayor Donna D. Holaday and City Marshal Mark Murray, representing the leadership team of the City of Newburyport, wish for their community to know that they denounce the actions of the Minneapolis police officers and mourn the killing of George Floyd.
“Police officers are supposed to be lifesavers in a community, and actions and inaction like what has transpired in Minneapolis give us significant pause. We must recognize that a wrong has been committed, and we must not be silent,” Mayor Holaday said. “In Newburyport, we strive to be a safe, welcoming and tolerant community for all, and our police officers are specifically trained not to employ the violent and dangerous methods that killed Mr. Floyd. I join in the collective sorrow felt around the nation.”
The members of the Newburyport Police Department undergo regular training on de-escalation techniques, diversity and inclusion, fair and impartial policing and procedural justice and police legitimacy.
Specifically, police are trained to follow the four tenets of Procedural Justice:
- VOICE: Listen first.
- NEUTRALITY: Be fair in your interactions with all citizens, including those who call for help and those suspected of committing a crime.
- RESPECTFUL TREATMENT: Treat all people with respect.
- TRUSTWORTHINESS: Do what’s best for the people you serve
“The Newburyport Police Department can only be successful of our community supports us and if each member of the department gains the trust and confidence of members of the public. We train on these ideas and we try to live up to them every day, from the top all the way down to a first day of a patrol officer’s career,” Marshal Murray said. “What happened in Minneapolis is a tragedy, and it was wrong.”
The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, representing Police Chiefs in all 351 cities and towns and most college campuses has also denounced the egregious actions taken by four members of the Minneapolis Police Department, whether by action or inaction, that resulted in the death of George Floyd on May 25. Massachusetts Police Officers have thoroughly embraced the six pillars of the principles embodied in the final report of President Barack Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, and remain committed to professional conduct, democratic policing and procedural justice for all people.
A peaceful protest was held in downtown Newburyport on Saturday afternoon. Members of the police department and city government observed. Mayor Holaday and Marshal Murray fully and completely support the right of the citizens to peacefully assemble and make their thoughts, feelings and grievances known.
“The right to assemble peacefully This is one of the most important and core aspects of our great nation’s democracy,” Mayor Holaday said.
Residents who are seeking more information on Newburyport’s inclusion efforts and those who find themselves angry, confused or in need of services are encouraged to visit the Newburport Human Rights Commission website at https://www.cityofnewburyport.com/human-rights-commission or email firstname.lastname@example.org.