A Message to the Community from Midlothian Police Chief Carl Smith
Many events that have transpired over the last eight days have been deeply disturbing, beginning with the video released of George Floyd, handcuffed, laying on the ground, struggling to breathe with the knee of former police officer Derek Chauvin bearing down on his neck.
My heart aches knowing that the family of Mr. Floyd will also forever remember how he died, in the custody and at the hands of a police officer. This is wrong on so many levels and from every professional law enforcement perspective. I have struggled how to express my contempt for the actions of those wearing a uniform that should be a symbol of public trust. How to convey the deep sense of loss and pain for the chaotic environment this person’s reprehensible and criminal action has ignited. What can I share to provide any sense of understanding of how this could have happened?
The first person I wanted to speak with when I learned of this tragic event is a friend I have had for nearly 13 years.
He is a man of God with a vision that Midlothian would be different and lead the way in creating a welcoming environment for diversity. He told me of his own struggle with the Church, the Body of Christ and its silence in the wake of racially oriented inequities and violence. When he told me of his tears, it simply broke my heart and I felt the weight of my own failures more than ever. Even as a chief of police, I cannot offer him any assurance that it will not happen again, that one of his children would not be the victim of overt or hidden racial bias.
I want our citizens, business owners, visitors, and most of all our children to know that the members of Midlothian Police Department pledge to serve you with Honor, Integrity, and Equity. Our Department will not tolerate the mistreatment of any citizen. We will work in earnest to make our citizens of diverse cultural backgrounds feel they have our support. You have my commitment to recruit, select, train, and promote only individuals who share this commitment.
Willing To Meet With The Community
My staff and I will meet with any community member(s) to discuss any concern you have with Midlothian Police Department’s activities, policies, and procedures. My staff will diligently work to satisfy each one. We have been and will continue to work to build relationships with all members of our community.
One of the best opportunities is to attend one of our Citizen Police Academy presentations. The academy meets on Thursday evening for nine weeks with a meal provided from one of our local restaurants. This is a great opportunity to meet our officers and become familiar with the policies and procedures of the department.
The Midlothian Project is another opportunity to get involved with local leadership from not only the Police Department and City administration but with local leadership from MISD, faith-based organizations, and the business community.
We will assist members of our community who wish to peaceably voice concerns for police actions and who advocate for positive change. Please do not hesitate to call to discuss or plan demonstrations or walks/marches. We desire to partner with you to ensure that everyone’s voice and message is heard in the safest way possible. I can be reached at 972-775-7610; Chief Scott Brown at 972-775-7617; Out-Reach/Crime Prevention Officer Scott Hughes at 972-775-7633.