Leaders at The University of New Mexico have issued strong statements condemning the brutal killing of George Floyd by police officers in Minnesota on Memorial Day and the actions of those seeking to prompt further violence at ensuing protests.

“Watching what is happening across our nation, I join the many voices who are outraged and condemn not only the actions of the officers who killed George Floyd, but police brutality against any and all communities of color,” said UNM President Garnett S. Stokes.

Following reports that extremist groups were using civil protests against police brutality to further elicit violence, President Stokes stated that “peaceful protest is a healthy way for people to express the hurt, fear and anger these types of actions incite.” She went on to say, “It is abhorrent that white nationalist groups are taking cover behind legitimate national protests concerning George Floyd and police brutality to provoke violence against black businesses and society at large.”

UNM Police Chief Kevin McCabe issued the following statement:

“What transpired in Minneapolis this past Memorial Day was appalling and disgusting – in my opinion, this does not represent American law enforcement and those who committed this heinous act or stood by and did nothing to intervene lack the humanity, integrity, and honor to wear the badge of a police officer.

Their senseless actions have stained every professional law enforcement officer who swore an oath to protect and defend the communities they serve but it is also a clear call for all of us to stand against this type of abuse of power.

As a police chief, to see this type of brutality makes me sick but I am confident that justice will prevail in this case. I, along with every member of The University of New Mexico Police Department, not only strive to do our very best every day to protect and serve those within our community but also be examples of police officers that our community expects and deserves.”