Statement from Mayor Steve Benjamin
"This nation has been heartbroken after seeing the horrific video of George Floyd being killed by an officer kneeling on his neck, while fellow officers stood by and watched.
When I first saw the picture of the officer here in Columbia published by The State taken during last week’s protests and subsequent violence arresting a man while holding him down with his knee I was immediately concerned, and I wanted answers.
I immediately spoke with Chief Holbrook who was aware of the situation and had already conducted a full review of the situation and also a review of our policies.
The chokehold is not allowed under City of Columbia policies and will not be tolerated. The only exception is when it is necessary to protect someone from serious physical injury or to protect human life.
I went to CPD Headquarters to personally review the recordings and in the interests of full transparency asked for it to be immediately released to the public.
The video also shows at least three individuals who may also have photographic or video documentation that may help us determine exactly what happened in this situation.
We are asking The State Newspaper and anyone else who videotaped or photographed the incident to send CPD any information that you have, to assist in our efforts.
Our country is experiencing an important movement toward equality and justice. The City of Columbia is fully dedicated to being leaders in this movement."