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Edmonton police chief calls death of George Floyd ‘criminal’

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The chief of the Edmonton Police Service is calling the death of George Floyd “unwanted” and “criminal.”

In a video produced by the EPS, Chief Dale McFee said systemic racism is “all inclusive,” adding it impacts the Indigenous, LGBTQ, Muslim and, in particular right now, the Black community.

“It’s made us all look at ourselves internally, externally and realize this in particular, this death, is certainly not part of the profession of policing,” McFee said of the video that shows a white police officer kneeling on the Black man’s neck during an arrest.

McFee said there needs to be accountability.

In a direct address to the Black African Canadian Community, McFee promised to “walk shoulder to shoulder, be with you, help you get through this, help that your voice is being heard.”

“And ensure the events of George Floyd and what we’re seeing in our neighbours to our south doesn’t play out the same way in Canada, but at the same time, leads to meaningful, respectful and much-needed change.”

McFee did not directly address what changes, if any, the Edmonton Police Service would be considering.

In 2017, documents showed Black people were 3.6 times more likely to be stopped during a street check in Edmonton. Indigenous people were four times more likely and Indigenous women were 6.5 times more likely to be stopped.

Edmonton’s High Level Bridge will go dark on Tuesday night for Blackout Tuesday.

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