Chatham County Sheriff’s office issues statement about the death of George Floyd

Pittsboro, NC – We, at the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, are deeply troubled and saddened by the death of George Floyd and want to acknowledge that we do not condone the actions of police officers who act unlawfully. Everyone in America should have the ability to live in safety and no one should fear the ability to be treated justly under the law.  

Today, however, these fundamental rights are being tested. Throughout the history of our nation, law enforcement has been at the center of many of these tests and we have made our share of mistakes. From testing comes, however, the opportunity to learn and grow. 

At the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, we believe that the ability to learn from our mistakes, and the mistakes of others, is of paramount importance in building a brighter future for the citizens we serve. Our core values of Fairness, Integrity, and Professionalism guide us toward policing in a fair and lawful manner. We prioritize training that emphasizes de-escalation and we teach our employees to make enforcement decisions based on the actions, rather than the appearance, of those with whom they interact. 

We further understand that to be effective in our role as guardians, we must be trusted and accepted by the community. Enforcing the law is just a small part of what we do at the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office. We remain active in the community as servant leaders and we are dedicated to lending our skills and abilities toward the common good of everyone in Chatham County. Through our core values of Teamwork, Leadership, and Community, we encourage our employees to treat everyone, both inside and outside the agency, like family.

The Mahatma Mohandas Gandhi once said, “Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization.” Today, just as in many other troubled times in our nation’s past, our unity is being tested by the strength of our commitment to equity in our diversity. We know that our ability to effectively protect those we serve depends on our belief that every life has value and is worth saving.  

Peaceful assembly and free speech are at the core of our democracy. We welcome members of the public to voice fears and opinions in a peaceful, productive way. I, along with our staff, am willing to meet and talk to anyone who fears unjust treatment by law enforcement in Chatham County.  To have unity in a CommUNITY, there must be honest dialogue with shared investments and outcomes. I care about every person and every voice and I expect my staff to do the same.  

Sheriff Mike Roberson