Mecklenburg County Sheriff McFadden helps sheriff in Minneapolis prepare for aftermath of Chauvin verdict

Updated: Apr. 20, 2021 at 8:59 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden told WBTV he has been talking to the sheriff in Minneapolis about expectations of the verdict involving former police officer Derek Chauvin.

McFadden said he has spoken to Sheriff David Hutchinson about five times before the guilty verdict came on Tuesday.

McFadden believes even after the verdict - the sheriff in Minneapolis must continue to engage with the community to make a difference.

“In the communities as a whole and just in a Nation - are we repairing the trust,” McFadden said. “Or are we simply just talking about the trust. So we’re going to have to start doing more to repair the trust, starting by having these candid conversations and start having consistent conversations.

“You know, after the Floyd incident things kind of died down, then it came back up, but these are things that we consistently need to do in our communities each and every day and not wait for another incident before we come up with bills and we come up with strategies and we come up with all these other things that they want us to do in law enforcement. So we need to be consistent and have that relationship with our community.”

Recently, McFadden became Region Four representative of the organization Major County Sheriffs of America.

He represents law enforcement in 17 states.

He has talked to the sheriffs about the day when the verdict would come down.

They were all concerned.

This past weekend, there were 40 major cities that experienced violence because of the trial.

“It’s just preparing us for the unknown,” McFadden said. “And no matter what we do, we can’t control the verdict. And so we’re just making sure that we are prepared. We are supporting each other.”

Law Enforcement was also concerned the verdict was coming at a time when mass shootings were frequently making headlines.

“We’re living on the edge,” McFadden said. “Because we still have a lot of violence in America during this time.”

The Mecklenburg County sheriff believes with a guilty verdict - instead of protests, there will be celebrations in the streets. He believes to keep engaging the community - law enforcement must be consistent and intentional about their efforts.

“We serve about 42,000 meals doing COVID,” McFadden said. “I have a community engagement unit that is in the community each and every day, working with the community...CMPD does the same thing. These are the things that we need to highlight. There are groups in both agencies connecting with the community each day, but we don’t need anyone to come between those with the rhetoric or to find a platform. It’s not a time now to create divisiveness.”

McFadden knows people are crying for social justice and police reform.

He believes some of those concerns have been addressed but the work is not done.

“I’ve seen a little bit of change,” he said. “But not the change that we need to be safe and sound in our community. So we do need a bigger change, but I haven’t seen that bigger change yet.”

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