PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Over the past few weeks, protests against racial injustice have happened all over Hampton Roads.
“We’re doing both things. We’re protesting in the street and raising our voices and we’re doing the meetings, which is critically important,” said President of the Portsmouth NAACP James Boyd.
Boyd and local community leaders met with Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene Monday to discuss policy changes. Barry Doughty with the NAACP says one topic of discussion was excessive force.
“What we want to do is we want to use the language that the court has provided that talks about what excessive force is when to use deadly force, and we want that to be placed into our current Portsmouth Police policy and procedure book so that they can be held to the reasonable person’s standards throughout this jurisdiction,” said Doughty.
“This is going to be an ongoing discussion between the Portsmouth NAACP and the police department. We expressed today that we’re thinking of looking at a two-month time frame too. Every week, we’re meeting with her to go over policy changes, to go over incidents we feel we have concern in, among several other things,” said Boyd.
They say the protests have been the momentum that has allowed them to look at local policies and procedures.
“If we’re just kicking and screaming and we’re not having those conversations behind closed doors then were going to run into this situation again,” said Pastor Louie Gibbs.
Boyd says the meetings with the chief have been very open. He says they’ll have another meeting next week.
Portsmouth Police say they’re encouraged by the positive discussions.
“Chief Greene is encouraged with the continued positive progress she and local community leaders and leaders from the Portsmouth NAACP are making with their ongoing meetings. She is looking forward to continuing their candid discussions and working toward positive change, together, for the benefit of the Portsmouth community and the Portsmouth Police Department.”
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