St. Tammany ministers meet with law enforcement to discuss impacts of George Floyd’s death

Updated: Jun. 3, 2020 at 4:13 PM CDT
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SLIDELL, La. (WVUE) - Local faith leaders and law enforcment in St. Tammany Parish gathered to talk about the larger impact of the death of George Floyd.

"What we saw was just terrible. It just shouldn't have happened," St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith said.

Smith and Slidell Mayor Greg Cromer shared the same thoughts regarding George Floyd's death.

“I’m appalled every time I see the video of the officer’s knee on George Floyd’s neck. No human man, woman, or child, any living being should be subjected to being killed in such a heinous fashion,” Cromer said.

He said he's also spoken with officers in recent weeks.

"Almost every one of them, all in unity and harmony agree that this tactic was something that should be questioned," Cromer said.

Smith says there will be changes coming to his department following the tragic incident.

“We do have to make changes on the way we do business. And that goes back to sensitivity training for all our deputies, follow up on the civil rights aspect and laws that are in place but what I saw is very alarming and very tragic,” Smith said.

He's proud of the local peaceful protests so far.

"We support the peaceful protests that have begun so far, and will continue to support those efforts, but we will not allow outside influences to come in here and create a hostile protest," Smith said.

Some were glad comunity leaders came out together, but say there's still a long road ahead for change.

"What we should do is hold everyone accountable for these changes, like holding us accountable and holding our community leaders accountable to what they said they will do," Albert Johnson said.

Local faith leaders were encouraged by the collaboration with law enforcement.

"Everybody has already been doing what they're talking about today. We are a city of action, and we believe what we say, and we do what we say," Pastor Belinda Aultman said.

“We are going to work with them 100% because we want to keep our city moving to a higher level. We don’t want to go backwards, we want to go forward as a group, as a family,” Pastor Shovie Ducre said.

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