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'We cannot tolerate hate or discrimination,' Crystal Lake police chief says

Crystal Lake Police Chief James Black
Crystal Lake Police Chief James Black

Crystal Lake Police Chief James Black posted the following statement on Facebook on Monday in regard to the death of George Floyd. Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.

“After watching the video from Minneapolis regarding the senseless death of George Floyd, I am saddened and outraged at what occurred. The Crystal Lake Police Department is a nationally accredited agency through CALEA. We have a zero tolerance policy for discrimination, racial profiling, and excessive use of force and our policies strictly prohibit this.

Our officers receive training on cultural diversity, cultural competency, procedural justice, use of force, scenario based training, and de-escalation techniques per policy or state statute annually. We work very hard to earn and keep the community’s trust and we value and respect all citizens. Nobody dislikes bad cops more than the men and women who provide unbiased professional police services to their communities daily. All it takes is one tragic incident to erode the relationships that we have worked so hard to build with our community.

When we become a police officer, we take an oath to treat all individuals with dignity and respect. In 2018, shortly after its development, the Crystal Lake Police Department adopted the Ten Shared Principles – see them [here], which are designed to build trust between law enforcement and communities of color.

These principles were developed and adopted by the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois NAACP State Conference. We call them ‘shared principles’ because our two associations mutually and deeply believe in the words themselves and the values underlying these principles. It is the first document of its kind in the United States between a statewide civil rights organization and a statewide law enforcement association.

This document embodies everything we as police stand for: treating everyone with dignity and respect, rejecting discrimination, building trust and strong relationships within our communities, endorsing the values of community policing, and supporting diversity within our organizations. As police officers, we should be held to a high standard and now more than ever the public demands transparency from its police.

Law enforcement leaders must have the courage to denounce actions that tear at the very core of these principles, and we must muster the courage to continue to build trust and a collaborative partnership with our communities.

We cannot tolerate hate or discrimination of any kind and we must advocate for positive change.”

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