© 2024 Interlochen
CLASSICAL IPR | 88.7 FM Interlochen | 94.7 FM Traverse City | 88.5 FM Mackinaw City IPR NEWS | 91.5 FM Traverse City | 90.1 FM Harbor Springs/Petoskey | 89.7 FM Manistee/Ludington
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Traverse City officials condemn killing of George Floyd, ask for local protests to remain peaceful

Max Johnston
Interlochen Public Radio

At a press conference Tuesday, Traverse City officials including Mayor Jim Carruthers and Police Chief Jeff O'Brien condemned the killing of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis Police Officers.

"I speak for everybody in law enforcement: we do not condone the actions of law enforcement officers in Minneapolis," O'Brien said while holding back tears.

Floyd's death, along with many other instances of police violence against black people, has sparked protests across the country and in Michigan. O'Brien added that he understands why people are protesting, but he denounced the actions of violent protestors. He asked local protestors to demonstrate peacefully, and urged them to contact the police department if they had any questions or concerns.

Mayor Carruthers also echoed calls for protests in Traverse City to remain peaceful.

"We welcome people here, we just want people to be safe and to share their opinions and not do damage to our city," Carruthers said.

Several other city officials, including the Mayor Pro Tem and City Manager, repeated Carruthers' sentiment. 

O'Brien, who mentioned he was a young officer when Rodney King was beaten by members of the Los Angeles Police Department, says he thinks Floyd's death will forever change policing.

One protest in Traverse City last weekend was relatively quiet, according to multiple attendees. 

Max came to IPR in 2017 as an environmental intern. In 2018, he returned to the station as a reporter and quickly took on leadership roles as Interim News Director and eventually Assignment Editor. Before joining IPR, Max worked as a news director and reporter at Michigan State University's student radio station WDBM. In 2018, he reported on a Title IX dispute with MSU in his story "Prompt, Thorough and Impartial." His work has also been heard on Michigan Radio, WDBM and WKAR in East Lansing and NPR.