Vestal police Chief John Butler has issued this news release in response to questions about why the town supervisor issued a state of emergency amid marches this weekend in wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, where a police officer has been charged with second-degree murder: “THE STATE OF EMERGENCY WAS DECLARED IN THE TOWN OF VESTAL ON SUNDAY, MAY 31ST 2020. IT WAS DECLARED AS A PRECAUTIONARY MEASURE. ALL ROADS AND BUSINESSES THAT CAN BE OPEN ARE OPEN CONSIDERING THE CURRENT COVID-19 PHASE TWO RESTRICTIONS.
“THE EMERGENCY WAS DECLARED DUE TO THE UNFORTUNATE EVENTS THAT HAVE TAKEN PLACE IN NYS AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY DURING THE PAST WEEK. THE STATE OF EMERGENCY PROVIDES THE TOWN AND THE POLICE DEPARTMENT MORE FLEXIBILITY TO DEAL WITH CIVIL DISORDERS SHOULD THEY OCCUR.
“HOPEFULLY THIS WILL NOT BE THE CASE. AS A POLICE CHIEF I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT THE DEATH OF GEORGE FLOYD SHOULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED. I FOUND THE ACTIONS OF THE OFFICERS INVOLVED WITH THE INCIDENT EXTREMELY OFFENSIVE AND INEXCUSSABLE.
THEIR ACTIONS HAVE TARNISHED THE REPUTATIONS OF POLICE OFFICERS WHO TREAT PEOPLE WITH RESPECT AND DIGNITY REGARDLESS OR THEIR RACE OR ETHNIC ORIGIN.”
John Butler, Chief of Police, Vestal, NY