TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Local leaders are reacting after Derek Chauvin was charged with the murder of George Floyd Tuesday afternoon, saying they are glad to see justice, but there’s a lot more work that needs to be done.
At the St. Petersburg Police Department, Chief Anthony Holloway says his team is focusing on communication, trainings, and building trust with the community. “I think everybody was just holding their breath to see what exactly was going to happen.”READ MORE: Sarasota Man Arrested And Facing Charges Of Sexual Battery On A Victim Under 12
Bryanna Fox, head of the Tampa Community Task Force on Policing says, “While justice is partially served, we will never bring [Floyd] back. At least accountability has been served.”
It was a day people all over the United States had been waiting for, nearly a year in the making: The day Derek Chauvin was found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
“The killing of George Floyd set community policing back 50 years in my mind,” said Holloway.READ MORE: Two Arrested In Shooting At Landmark Motel
Since last May, Holloway, says his department has been making changes. “Now on our hiring board, we actually have someone from the community on that board so they can be involved with the law enforcement that is coming into our community.”
He says they’ve emphasized implicit bias training and de-escalation training, but now the focus is mainly on communication. “It’s time for us to get out to know each other, to communicate with each other so we can break down that fear on both sides so people don’t fear law enforcement and law enforcement doesn’t fear the unknown.”
Fox agrees with Holloway, echoing a need for “transparency and accountability. This is done through a variety of ways, including putting all of TPD’s policies on their website. Procedural justice training, de-escalation training. They’ve already started on these and we are waiting in line to get the best training available,” said Fox.MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Hospitalizations Rise From 40 To Over 70 At Tampa General Hospital
She says police reform still has a long way to go. “We aren’t there, but we are moving in the right direction.” Fox says police departments all over the country should build trust and fairness with the community going forward.