On Saturday, May 30, 2020, Des Moines Police Chief Ken Thomas issued the following statement on the recent police killing of George Floyd:


After consultation with Mayor Pina, the City Council, City Manager Matthias and the Des Moines Police Guild leadership, I am making the following statement regarding the recent events in Minnesota and the death of George Floyd.

On behalf of the City of Des Moines and the Des Moines Police Department, I would like to offer my deepest condolences to the Floyd Family.

The actions seen on the video are not consistent with police training or values. Quite frankly, the actions of the officer with his knee on Mr. Floyd’s neck and the failure of his fellow officers to intervene and stop this action are not consistent with basic human decency. I am deeply concerned by the actions of these officers yet encouraged by the response of the police department and justice system to ensure accountability.

In the policing profession, we work hard to build trust with the communities we serve. It is incredibly unfortunate that the actions taken by the Officers in Minnesota will likely set back the work done by professional and ethical police officers throughout the country. Those officers tarnished the reputation of the policing profession and have betrayed not only their community but fellow officers. We must hold ourselves and our officers accountable for their actions.

Moving forward, we must consider how to collectively strengthen public trust when that trust has so publicly been breached. The police actions we have seen are not consistent with the standards, beliefs and values of our Department. Every person deserves justice. We will continuously work to improve our culture, policies and training. We all must do better to hold ourselves to a higher standard in policing and I can assure you that the City of Des Moines and the Des Moines Police Department are committed to working tirelessly to maintain and further earn your trust.

Chief Thomas