Curfews are in effect in Minneapolis this weekend where a former police officer was arrested in the death of George Floyd.
Former officer Derek Chauvin was recorded Monday night pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.
The video is stirring emotions nationwide.
“I had a lot of emotions, one from anger to sadness,” said Reginald Hines, president of the National Association Of Blacks In Criminal Justice. “I thought we made progress and then it looks like we have taken some steps backwards.”
Hines spent his nearly four-decade career in Oklahoma Corrections.
With three other officers involved in the Minneapolis incident, Hines said, nobody stepped up.
“When I saw that video, I didn’t see anyone take charge of what was going on,” said Hines. “What was really sad was that I saw some of the other officers, looking like they were engaging in conversations with some of the bystanders.”
The local chapter of the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice (NABCJ) believes there are many things Oklahoma law enforcement agencies can take away. The group is calling for more checks and balances and accountability in Oklahoma law enforcement.
“I think the more transparency, the more citizens are involved in what is going on, I think that will prevent a lot of things from happening in our city and put in the right people on these committees and things like that to take a look at what is going on,” said Hines.
As the country prepares for an anticipated weekend of protests, locals in criminal justice hope you remember one thing. There are more good than bad officers out there patrolling your neighborhood.
“We’ve got to come together instead of us and them and we and they,” said Hines. “We have to come together as a group to do what is right.”
The Oklahoma City chapter of the NABCJ is working to expand their association into local high school and universities to educate young African American men and women about criminal justice.