Local News

One year after George Floyd's death, push for police reform continues in North Carolina

Posted May 25, 2021 8:11 p.m. EDT
Updated May 25, 2021 8:32 p.m. EDT

— In the past year, people took to the streets from coast to coast demanding a stop to police brutality after the death of George Floyd.

So far, 24 states and Washington, D.C., have passed police reform legislation.

North Carolina is not one of them, but lawmakers have listened.

"That's on both sides of the aisle, and Republicans are pretty engaged on this, and it's going to be Republican-back bills that are going to move,” explained WRAL Statehouse Reporter Travis Fain.

Those bills include better training for officers responding to mental health calls, mental health resources for officers, a database tracking police officers' certifications and suspensions, and a duty to report misconduct.

"So, if I'm a police officer and I see another officer using excessive force -- I would have a duty to intervene and bring it up the chain of command," said Fain.

Another bill would require police bodycam footage to be released to family members of people who died or were severely injured at the hands of police, instead of having to petition a judge.

But the bill requires all members of the public to continue going through courts to see body cam footage.

State Attorney General Josh Stein said that isn't good enough.

"We want that footage to provide transparency [and] a view of what actually happened, but for the public to gain from what, we have to be able to see it," said Stein. "North Carolina has it backwards."

On Tuesday, Angella Dunston, a close friend of Floyd's family and supporter of the George Floyd Memorial Center, stopped by Creedmor Road as area synagogues and churches gathered to drum up support for equality.

"There's hope in this. That moment happened, but we are going to make a difference. We are going to change the state," said Dunston.

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