The outpouring of emotion yesterday from those gathered at George Floyd Square in Minneapolis said it all. While a sigh of relief spread across the nation, their response to the guilty verdict was shattering to behold. We now need to reform this corrupted system of policing that has oppressed the Black community for so long. After all, police shootings continued as the jury deliberated!
As to the local response, the Providence Journal sought the opinions of Jim Vincent, president of the local chapter of the NAACP; Gary Dantzler, director of Black Lives Matter Rhode Island; and Jaychele Schenck, co-founder of Gen Z: We Want To Live, who all expressed a mixture of shock, relief, and cautious optimism following the verdict.
A different perspective comes from Charles Wilson, chairman of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers and a former Rhode Island resident:
Reform is coming whether you want it or not,” Wilson said. “Accept that fact and find ways to re-engineer what you do as a profession. We have to change who and how we hire. We have to change . . . how we train officers.
There is much work to be done.