San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore, San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit brief the press for a second time.
San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore briefs press on 2019 Chabad of Poway shooting. Photo by Chris Stone

Joining other law enforcement officials locally and across the nation, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore Friday decried the death of a black man who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground by the neck with his knee and held him there until he passed out.

“We must do better,” Gore wrote in a message released on Twitter Friday afternoon in response to the Memorial Day death of 46-year-old George Floyd, who was handcuffed and repeatedly pleaded during the deadly ordeal that he could not breathe as three other officers looked on.

In his statement, Gore offered his “sincere condolences to the family of Mr. Floyd, who died tragically.”

“Now, as frustrating as it may be, we must let the criminal justice system run its course,” the sheriff noted.

A witness video of Floyd’s ordeal promptly went viral online, leading to the firing of Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin and the three colleagues who stood by as he held the Texas native to the ground for nearly 10 minutes, even after Floyd lost consciousness.

Following several days of mass protests that escalated into fiery riots in Minneapolis, officials in the Midwestern city announced that Chauvin had been arrested and charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter in connection with Floyd’s death.

In his online statement, Gore said his agency’s employees “work every day to build trust with the communities we serve.”

“Mr. Floyd’s death in Minneapolis is a harsh reminder of how the actions of a few can quickly erode that trust,” the sheriff wrote.

— City News Service