The City of Lathrop has formally taken a stand in the case of George Floyd – the man that was killed in Minneapolis while handcuffed in police custody.
On Wednesday the city released a joint statement that was written by Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal and the rest of the Lathrop City Council – Paul Akinjo, Diane Lazard, Jennifer Torres-O’Callaghan and Martha Salcedo. The release, which details the position of the elected officials, notes that while the incident happened in Minnesota, the far-reaching impact of Floyd’s brutal demise and the social consciousness that it has spurred has impacted Lathrop as well.
“We are saddened by the death of George Floyd. We offer our deepest sympathies to his family, the community of Minneapolis, and communities in California and across the country who are grieving,” the statement read. “Residents of Lathrop have been touched by these events that threaten the collective progress we have made in fostering trust between law enforcement and the diverse communities they serve. It is our expectation that the justice system will honor Mr. Floyd's life by holding accountable those responsible for his death.”
While Lathrop is a city of almost 25,000 residents, it is also a city without its own dedicated police department – relying instead on a longstanding contract with the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office to providing policing services to the community.
As part of that contract, Lathrop Police employs a community-oriented policing model that strives to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the public they serve by holding community outreach events and allowing residents to get to know the officers and the command staff that oversee them in situations other than what people would experience when needing to call for a response.
Lathrop Police Chief Ryan Biedermann appeared earlier this week on a protest video created by Parks and Recreation Commission Minnie Cotton Diallo to speak on behalf of the department and remind residents that they absolutely support the rights of those they protect to peacefully protest – joining with Susan Dell’Osso, Robert Gleason, Jennifer Torres-O’Callaghan, and Cotton Diallo’s daughter in the 12-minute clip that was released on YouTube and shared extensively on social media.
While other cities have formally held live, in-person protest events, Lathrop is the only city in the South County that has not yet done so.
But that doesn’t mean that the elected officials of the city haven’t been watching as residents come together to talk about racial equality and the discussions that the protests over George Floyd’s death have prompted across the country.
“Over the last few days, we have witnessed local leaders, police officers, protesters, and others coming together in our region to stand for the common causes of equality and justice. We stand united in support of their voices,” the unified council wrote. “We are grateful for all those, including local leaders and law enforcement, who are keeping our community safe during this painful and difficult time.
“We urge all residents of Lathrop to take this opportunity to work together to strengthen relationships and trust between all of us who call this great city home.”
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.