TYLER, Texas (KETK) – As East Texans continue gathering in protest to honor the memory of George Floyd, Tyler Police Chief Jimmy Toler has their support.
While protests have turned violent in other parts of the country, Toler believes “this is the opportunity for us to show other people how it’s done.”
“I know sometimes we talk and say things need to change. But I think this is the opportunity for all of us to sit together and decide that change needs to made. And go forward with making sure everybody is protected and they have that opportunity for justice,” says Toler.
The Tyler Police Department wants these protests to stay as peaceful as possible.
“Individuals want to be heard, but other individuals in our community want to come and be supportive. We encourage individuals to come and be supportive. Any type of violence or any type of destructive actions that results in property takes away from the initial argument. It takes away from Mr. Floyd and I don’t think it’s productive to the conversation,” says Toler.
The president of the Tyler chapter of the NAACP has commended Toler and his staff on their efforts to connect with the people of the black community.
“We have forged a working relationship with the police here in Tyler Texas,” says Cedrick Granberry.
“It’s difficult to fully understand, there’s no way I could ever fully understand. To the best of my ability I can empathize with what people were going through. We were all shocked at what we saw. And any time we see one of these incidents we have concerns; for not only our families our community and with people we come in contact with everyday,” says Toler.
He believes communication is the key to change. He and his staff will continue to keep the peace.