Napa POA Letter to Community

**Originally Posted WEDNESDAY, 03 JUNE 2020

To our City of Napa Community:

Our Association is humbled and grateful for the support we have received from our wonderful community during this time of crisis. As I watched the video of the tragic killing of George Floyd, my heart sank and I was physically ill. As a police officer with the Napa Police Department for over 17 years, I cannot understand how a law enforcement officer could believe his actions of kneeling on someone’s neck was justified. This is not how members of the Napa Police Officers Association have been trained to control a subject. Just as disheartening was watching the other officers not intervening in what was happening. They just stood there allowing it to happen......slowly......painfully......tragically. The Napa Police Officers Association outright condemns all of the officers’ actions / inactions that caused the tragic and unjustified death of George Floyd. We are angry. We are disgusted. We are devastated. We feel what any decent human being should be feeling.

I want to take this time to commend the organizers and participants of the protest and march that occurred in downtown Napa on the afternoon and evening of May 31, 2020. You conducted yourselves civilly, peacefully and your message was clearly heard. At no time was there any destruction of property, vandalism, or out-right poor behavior. Thank you. We hear you.

The Napa Police Officers Association condemns any kind of racism in our department or towards any member of our community. We work hard to actively connect with our community and maintain a high level of ethical behavior when dealing with those who choose to break the law. Our goal is to continue to build trust from our community. Any use of force implemented comes with a high degree of training and as a last resort after trying to gain verbal compliance. At no time have we ever been trained, told or encouraged to place a knee on the back of someone’s neck. I can promise you that if any of our officers were seen doing this to ANYONE, there would be immediate intervention by other officers at the scene. There would be no silent complacency, no inaction, and no acceptance of this behavior. NO ONE HATES A BAD COP MORE THAN A GOOD COP!

Yes, there are good cops. Yes, there are bad cops. Yes, there are good demonstrators. Yes, there are bad demonstrators. Those individuals who use the killing of George Floyd for their own personal gain should feel shame to their core. How does damaging the businesses of your community get justice for George Floyd? How does setting fire to a house and intentionally trapping a child inside get justice for George Floyd? How does executing a retired police chief, who is Black, get justice for George Floyd? How does attacking Black police officers and calling them traitors get justice for George Floyd? Yes, Black Lives Matters. ALL Black Lives Matter!

It is time to stop destroying our communities in the name of George Floyd. It is time to stop stealing in the name of George Floyd. It is time to stop killing in the name of George Floyd.

It is time to start coming TOGETHER in the name of George Floyd. The members of the Napa Police Officers Association are out in our community, protecting it from those who would do harm in the name of George Floyd. We take pride in our high ethical standards, our high level of training, and our compassion that is reflected in our contacts with the community.

We send our deepest condolences to the family of George Floyd and pray they will find justice for his death. It is only with accountability for the officers’ actions towards George Floyd can the country begin to heal.

Sincerely,

Darlene Elia President, NPOA

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