Kinston Mayor: "It's all about respect for everyone"
As the mayor of Kinston and also a law enforcement officer, Don Hardy is watching what's unfolding locally and around the country in the wake of George Floyd's death, from many perspectives
Hardy says Monday's protests were meaningful. He says there are ways to speak up and get your point across and to express yourself. He emphasized that word, meaningful, and then addressed how violence and being destructive is not the answer.
On the topic of the main issue at hand, the reason for these protests across the country, he says this comes down to overall respect for everyone, regardless of race.
Hardy says, "It's tough to say that we do have racism in this world. And I hate to say it, but it's there. We must treat people like we want to be treated no matter what color their skin is. We have to learn how to put our de-escalation training at the forefront, or add some additional training, sensitivity training for different cultures. That's what's going to have to happen."
Hardy says officers take that oath to serve and protect and they can't lose sight of that oath. He also says the actions of the officers in Minneapolis were quote "Uncalled for," and "Unbecoming of a law enforcement officer."