HOUSTON - A number of those rallying here in Houston came with the message “the silence is too loud.”
The Houston Police Officers Union is not silent regarding George Floyd’s tragic death and is in fact making its view clear.
"What happened with George Floyd was terrible and this is the actions of an idiot police officer and now all the rest of us have to pay for it," says President of the Houston Police Officers Union Joe Gamaldi who is speaking out against former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin.
Chauvin is charged with murdering Floyd by putting his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes.
“It was completely stupid. I have no idea why he did what he did,” says Gamaldi.
While many praised Houston’s police chief Art Acevedo for immediately condemning Chauvin and his actions, some voiced displeasure with the Houston Police Union.
"Every major policing agency including our own chief, very vocal in condemning that but we haven’t heard police unions come out and condemn that action,” says Houston Pastor DZ Coffield of Good Hope Church. "No one hates a bad officer more than a good officer because it gives us all a bad name,” adds Gamaldi.
In fact, Gamaldi says he publicly spoke out against Chauvin Monday. "I went on Fox News national and called this guy stupid for what he had done. We even put out a statement immediately after this happened telling our officers if you see something like that you need to step up and speak up and stop it in that moment. Whether it's saying turn him on his side, sit him up, let me take that suspect".
Many are also saying ‘systemic racism’ within police departments has to be addressed.
“The younger generation of officers they are Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, all different races, creeds, colors, religions and they’re all sitting together and they’re breaking bread and they’re talking and when they go out on the skirmish line they put their lives in each other's hands. Systemic racism can not survive in an environment like that,” says Gamaldi. “We all need to heal as a community. We need to continue to have this open dialogue because I think normally when these things are done everybody goes back to their corners and try to get back to normal but we need to continue talking. We need to continue to improve on our relations”.