Evansville NAACP President encourages nationwide police reform

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EVANSVILLE, Ind (WEHT)– George Floyd’s death generated several discussions about police reform and police relations in their community. The Evansville Police Department said it has not seen a lot of changes, but they have implemented ‘Walking Wednesdays’ to help officers get to know their community and deter crime. The NAACP’s Evansville branch president, Reverend Gerald Arnold, said some improvements still need to be made.

“We want to put a group together that has some power. That has some teeth. That can hold people responsible when things are not right,” Reverend Arnold explained the organization is trying to create a citizens advisory council with subpoena power to help hold people accountable.

Rev. Arnold said NAACP members are encouraging Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act in hopes of adding consistency to policy and procedures across the country.

“It should start with police reform. With sensitivity. Police becoming more a part of the community. Evansville. We are lucky that we haven’t had some of the situations we’ve had in other cities,” Rev. Arnold said.

Evansville Police Sergeant Nick Winsett said if Congress passes George Floyd’s police reform bill it wouldn’t bring too many changes for the EPD especially when it comes to use of force training.

“They are trying to ban the choke holds. That’s something we have not done for a long time, and again, that’s just one instance. But there’s a lot of things that they’re wanting for this reform that we’ve been doing for a long time,” Evansville Police Sergeant Nick Winsett said EPD officers’ training is continuous and ever evolving.

“We use our body cams as training aides. We will go back and look at body cam footage to see maybe where we could have made improvements, maybe where we things could have been done better. But as a whole. I stand behind our training,” said Sgt. Winsett.

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