The Minnesota Catholic Conference released a statement in response to the death of George Floyd on Monday that only days later has gripped the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul with violent unrest.

On Tuesday, Executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference Jason Adkins called the events that transpired “a tragedy,” adding its good an investigation has began.

“This is a tragedy. It is good that state and federal investigators are already looking into the incident to determine what happened.”‘

Adkins said law enforcement needs to have a “spirit of service” for people to trust them and feel safe:

“People need to feel safe in their communities and have trust in law enforcement, who should exercise their power in a spirit of service.”

He ended saying the Minnesota Catholic Conference is hoping for justice: “If there was misconduct, hopefully justice will be done.”

Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis Bernard Hebda said the now-viral video with Floyd saying “I can’t breathe” is “gut wrenching and deeply disturbing,” adding that “the sadness and pain are intense.”

“Let us pray for comfort for his grieving family and friends, peace for a hurting community and prudence while the process moves forward. We need a full investigation that results in rightful accountability and veritable justice.”

Hebda asked for prayers for Floyd and his family, urging respect for all people:

“Particularly at this time when human fragility has been brought into focus by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are called to respect the worth and dignity of each individual, whether they be civilians in need of protection or law enforcement officers charged with providing that protection. All human life is sacred. Please join our Catholic community in praying for George Floyd and his family, and working for that day when ‘love and truth will meet and justice and peace will kiss.'” 

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