NAACP holds virtual town hall amid protests sparked by death of George Floyd

The NAACP held a virtual town hall meeting Wednesday night after more than a week of peaceful protests, violent riots and the arrests of police officers in the death of George Floyd.

Among those joining the president of the NAACP was Sen. Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, and Florida Rep. Val Demmings, who was the first female police chief of Orlando, elected to Congress after 27 years with the Orlando Police Department.

Demmings said police departments need to change from the inside out and that all neck restraints should be banned.

“We need to make it clear, we’re talking about much more than choke holds, we’re talking about neck restraints, restraints above the shoulders of any kind,” Demmings said.

Booker said the question needs to be: How will we respond?

“I do not want to go through these cycles where the everyday reality of so many blacks in America is captured on videotape for the horror for everyone to see, and becomes a moment of national spasm,” Booker said. “And then we go back to normal, a normal that is insidiously unacceptable.”

While discussing solutions, Booker said the Congressional Black Caucus is working on legislation that would give law enforcement departments nationwide policing guidelines, on everything from collecting data and statistics, to police training.

Prosecutors charged three more police officers Wednesday in the death of George Floyd and filed a new, tougher charge against the officer at the center of the case.

A full autopsy of Floyd was released Wednesday, providing several clinical details, including that Floyd had previously tested positive for COVID-19.

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Joy Purdy co-anchors the 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts with Tarik Minor and the 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts with Kent Justice.