TAMPA, Fla. - The video of George Floyd on the ground, with an officer's knee on the back of his neck for over seven minutes, and him screaming for his mother Is enough to make a nearly 30-year officer cringe.
"To say it is disturbing, it is an understatement," said Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan, who called a press conference Thursday in response to media questions about the incident in Minneapolis. "Our job is to protect people, not harm them."
Particularly sickening to him was that one of the officers, Tou Thao, stood by as Derek Chauvin ignored Floyd's complaints that he couldn't breathe, needed water, and said he felt like he was about to die.
"One of the things I preach to officers is when you see a fellow officer maybe being too emotional, too involved step in front of them take over the scene."
The chief said this is why he and the mayor are moving forward to outfit officers with body cams, not necessarily because his officers typically get complaints, but because it is an unvarnished record of what happened.
In Minneapolis, two officers on scene but not directly involved in the arrest of Floyd were wearing cameras.
"The body camera is going to help give that whole story, and that is why the mayor and I were so passionate about it."
Dugan says this incident is another reason he is so hands on with officers and the community.
"I get up and engage with members of the community," he said. "I engage with members of the police department. The citizens of the community expect the chief to police the community and police the police."
Because the city budget has gotten tighter thanks to the fight against COVID-19 the department won't be able to deploy them until later this year.
He says he will be "shocked" if the officers in Minneapolis don't face charges.