ROME, N.Y. -- There are many loud voices, denouncing what happened to George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis Police. According to the Rome branch of the NAACP, a very important voice is missing from that chorus.
"Our concern is with all that's going on all around us in the country and the tragedy that just happened, we'd like to hear from the Rome Police Department," says Rome NAACP Branch President, Jacqueline Nelson.
Rome Police Chief, Kevin Beach, has been off from work for several days, but spoke with WKTV by phone.
"We obviously do not condone the behavior of that officer from what I've seen. I think it's a terrible tragic thing that happened," said Beach. "Watching the video myself it really saddened me to see not only the action fo the officer but the officers standing by that didn't take action to stop the officer." Chief Beach added that his children took part in Utica's protest on Sunday, with his blessing, and that his officers welcomed protesters outside the Rome Police Department Monday night.
Chief Beach said he'll consider a public statement.
"People need to hear it. People need to hear from their elected officials, those that represent them, those that look out after them, those that protect and serve. It's as simple as that. Just to let us know that they are aware and they are against it and they are here to protect and serve all of us," said Nelson.
In what was a major and difficult decision, she announced that the Rome branch, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is suspending all public, outdoor rallies, protests and marches.
"We are a small branch and the majority of our members are all seniors," said Nelson. "I myself would participate in an invitation to attend anyone's march and stuff but I just don't think it's appropriate for me to ask the whole branch to do that and our executive committee had decided as well."
President Nelson says the branch is planning a June 8 Zoom meeting, and has invited law enforcement and other community members.
"The important thing is to do something."