Clearwater Mayor's Statement - June 2, 2020
This statement from Clearwater Mayor Frank V. Hibbard was posted to the city's social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) on June 2:
I hope all of us as Americans are horrified by the recent brutal deaths of Mr. Floyd, Mr. Arbery and Ms. Taylor. There is no group more appalled by Mr. Floyd’s death than the officers I have talked to who represent the Clearwater Police Department. Clearwater officers have told me the actions of the former officer in Minneapolis are against Clearwater Police policy, contrary to Clearwater Police training, and they know the administration will hold them accountable if they violate these standards. I can assure Clearwater’s citizens that police brutality will never be tolerated. I am proud of the training and commitment to best practices that the Clearwater Police Department follows. Our city has been practicing community policing for decades and that gives all neighborhoods the opportunity to get to know their officers which improves communication, trust and outcomes. We are a nation that often reverts to stereotypes which in our hearts we know is unfair and ignorant. I pray that we do not stereotype anyone--our citizens, our neighbors or our officers.
We fully support peaceful demonstrations. It is past due that we have national, regional and local conversations about race and social injustice. We as a nation are better and must do better than what has been demonstrated in the past week. Something will grow out of this tragedy--let it be dialogue, positive action and healing. Violence and destruction will only distract and undermine positive change.
I am a Christian, not always the best but it does guide the way that I treat people. I know everyone does not share my beliefs, but Christ taught us to love others as we love ourselves. I believe this is a standard shared by many faith communities and others alike and can go a long way in solving our challenges. I have always believed that what makes Clearwater different is what makes us better. I ask that our city unite and show that we can condemn intolerable behavior and do it in a way that we maintain our compassion and dignity. May God bless you all as we traverse this difficult time.
Frank V. Hibbard
Mayor, City of Clearwater
Tuesday, June 2, 2020