White Plains Police Public Safety Commissioner David Chong, a former commanding officer of counterterrorism for the New York City Police Department just after 9/11, grew animated Saturday afternoon in a conversation with The White Plains Examiner as protests continued in Westchester and in cities across the country in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on the neck of Floyd as he pleaded for his life, desperately explaining he couldn’t breathe. Chong, who consulted Ferguson on police chief applicants after the police shooting of Michael Brown in 2014, has been the City of White Plains top cop since 2010.
An excerpt of Chong’s commentary:
“Our officers are part of the community, I’m behind our boys in blue but when we see an atrocity like what we saw, that was an absolute atrocity. It sickened me to my stomach. It sickened me to the deepest part of my core. The other officers just let it happen. That’s certainly not how we’re trained. Everyone has adrenaline and we’re trained to intercept, to protect everyone involved. Fellow police officers need to step in. It should be so easy to arrest them. You have the videotape, at least charge them. Anyone else would be charged right away. We can arrest on probable cause. You can’t tell me that video is not probable cause. Make an arrest and let the D.A. figure out the charges from there. I can understand the hurt in the community. We did well with the community with our protest in White Plains. My issue is the violence brings us backwards. People have an absolute right to be upset and to demonstrate. My issue is the destruction. The death of George Floyd can get lost. We can’t forget about the victims. Police officers are members of the community too and the videotape is just horrific. It sets us back so far in terms of relations with the community. It’s just the saddest thing. The destruction has to stop. Ferguson was left with no downtown. We can’t have that, it serves no one’s interests. Our officers main job is to protect and serve. We only use force as a last resort during a criminal apprehension. The force stops once the person is under control.”