‘There was no need for him to do that’ St. Petersburg police chief speaks on George Floyd’s death

Pinellas County

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – Like many local law enforcement officials, St. Petersburg Police Chief Anthony Holloway is outraged by what he saw in Minneapolis. He’s seen the video multiple times and doesn’t wish to see it anymore.

“I’ve seen enough of it. I don’t want to see any more. I don’t want to watch a man die any more,” said Chief Holloway. “What I want to do is start to watch a community heal.”

What troubles Holloway, is what will this mean for the positive progress the department has been making? Community policing has always been one of his top priorities, and building strong relationships with people in the community.

“You’ve covered us a lot, you know we do a lot of community policing. Everything we’ve done in the past year, forget it.. We’ve got to start again, fresh,” said Chief Holloway. “We’ve got to go out into the community and say that’s not us.”

Holloway tells 8 On Your Side, what he saw in that video is not common practice saying the tactics used are not taught, they are discouraged. He went on to say, he, like many of his officers are scratching their heads, wondering what prompted this type of activity.

“You know. It’s like, why did the guy do that? What caused him to do that? There was no need for him to do that,” said Chief Holloway. “Pick the guy up, pick the man up, he’s in custody. Put him in a car and let’s be done with this.”

Chief Holloway understands people are frustrated and upset with a protest and march scheduled for Saturday in downtown St. Petersburg. Holloway says officers will be on hand to make sure everyone stays safe.

“If you’re going to hurt someone or damage some type of property then we are going to take action. But if you want to go out there and protest the wrong that you saw in the video, you know what, thank you for doing that. “

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