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Florida Matters Hears Three Floridians' Perspectives On The Derek Chauvin Verdict

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Host Bradley George asks them how a year of activism has or hasn’t changed policing.

One week ago, a jury in Minneapolis found former police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of killing George Floyd.

In the year since Floyd’s murder, protestors and activists have called for changes to policing.

Here in Florida, the state House has unanimously passed a bill to require more training for law enforcement, bans chokeholds, and requires police departments and sheriff's offices to keep data on how their officers use force.

On this week’s episode, you’ll hear three perspectives on how a year of activism has or hasn’t changed policing.

First, host Bradley George speaks with Todd Garrison, police chief of the North Port Police Department.

After the guilty verdict in the Chauvin trial, he posted a statement on Twitter saying he hoped the jury’s decision would help restore faith in law enforcement.

George asked about Garrison’s statement, and how his department has changed over the last year.

Next, we hear from Kenny Irby. He’s pastor of Historic Bethel AME Church in St. Petersburg and the director of Community Intervention and Juvenile Outreach for the St. Petersburg Police.

He says his initial reaction to the verdict was one of relief and he says he's cautiously optimistic about lasting change.

Last, he talks with Black Lives Matter activist Christina Boneta.

Last summer, her local chapter in Pasco County faced counter protesters waving Trump signs and confederate flags.

New Port Richey Police also fined her for using a megaphone, but the charges were later dropped.

George asks about what’s been on her mind in the week since the verdict.

In their interview, Boneta refers to something called Cahoots. It stands for Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets.

The city of Eugene, Oregon, started the program in 1989. And you can learn more about it here.

You can listen to Bradley's full conversations with all three guests above by clicking on the “Listen” button. Or you can listen to the WUSF app under “Programs & Podcasts.”

Dinorah Prevost is the producer of Florida Matters, WUSF's weekly public affairs show.
Bradley George comes to WUSF from Atlanta, where he was a reporter, host, and editor at Georgia Public Broadcasting. While in Atlanta, he reported for NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and The Takeaway. His work has been recognized by PRNDI, the Georgia Associated Press, and the Atlanta Press Club. Prior to his time in Georgia, Bradley worked at public radio stations in Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina.