Letter to the editor.
This is a letter to the editor from Ithaca Police Department Acting Chief John Joly and Ithaca Police Benevolent Association President Thomas Condzella regarding the murder conviction of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin in the killing of George Floyd last year. To submit opinion letters, please review our letters policy here and submit them to Anna Lamb at alamb@ithacavoice.com.

Message from Acting Chief John Joly

On May 25th, 2020 a member of our profession violated his oath of office and violated the trust placed in him by his community, as he acted far outside the scope of his authority. He used excessive force and ignored the calls from bystanders to stop. He willfully applied force that was unreasonable and demonstrated a complete disregard for the human being that he was kneeling on, George Floyd.
The death of George Floyd was tragic, and the actions of the police officers on that scene were reprehensible. This was obvious to me, other law enforcement professionals, and the public.
Yesterday, Derek Chauvin was found guilty by a jury of his peers. This is an example of the justice system working properly. The prosecution and the defense presented their evidence and testimony. The jury weighed all the information and rendered a decision confirming what the public had also determined; guilty.
The actions of this former police officer sent shockwaves throughout our entire country, including all law enforcement agencies. His actions were deplorable and ignited a flame of conflict resulting in a nationwide call for police reform. Here in Tompkins County and in the City of Ithaca, a concerted and exhaustive effort was put forth by many different agencies and community members to determine exactly what that reform should look like locally. The process of police reform is just beginning and will continue to evolve.
As the Acting Chief of Police, I would like to express my support for the verdict rendered by the Jury. I also want to reaffirm the commitment of the Ithaca Police Department to embrace the positive change that our community is asking for.
Sincerely,
John Joly
Acting Chief
Ithaca Police Department

Message from the Ithaca Police Benevolent Association

The Ithaca Police Benevolent Association stands firmly in our stance that due process is extremely important  and needed to protect the rights of the accused and to ensure fair and impartial outcomes. We believe that not  only does this concept apply to members of the public but it also applies equally to any public servants accused  of wrongdoing to include Police Officers. 

The tragic events of May 25th, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota during which George Floyd was killed by Derek  Chauvin have tested the very fiber of our Community and our Nation for the better part of a year and have  resulted in much civil unrest and calls for public safety reform. The facts and evidence in the case have finally  been reviewed by an impartial jury who yesterday concluded that Derek Chauvin is guilty of murder and  manslaughter. 

The due process has spoken and the Ithaca Police Benevolent Association supports the outcome. Derek  Chauvin murdered George Floyd and his actions were in no way consistent with those that are considered  acceptable by the rest of the law enforcement profession. Our profession holds itself to the highest standards both locally and nationally and Derek Chauvin is in no way representative of that. He is a criminal plain and  simple and it has now been proven in the court of law. 

Now is a time for peace and healing and we need each other more than ever. As we move forward together in  continued partnership with the Community we plan to continue the important and challenging work that lies  ahead of us. Together we can achieve meaningful changes to the way in which police services are provided in  the City of Ithaca and in doing so we can secure a better overall future for our Community for many generations  to come. 

Thomas Condzella, IPBA President