NEW YORK — Since George Floyd’s death one year ago, a spotlight has been on equal justice and police reform.
Ben, a Manhattan resident, is grateful that technology is advancing the quest for accountability in police misconduct.
“I’m happy that because of the age of the internet and the video, the clear injustice of kneeling on someone’s neck for nine minutes and clearly that was a mini-highlight of many people’s reality in America,” he said.
Protests began with Tuesday morning’s rush hour commute, an act of civil disobedience blocking traffic at the mouth of the Holland Tunnel and continued throughout the day, culminating with crowds gathering near the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and then marching back into Manhattan.
Here in the New York City, NYPD officers had to deal with a racial justice reckoning.
Head of NYPD Community Affairs Chief Jeffrey Maddrey took a knee with protesters during the marches last summer.
Maddrey believes Floyd’s death should be remembered.
“It impacted me in so many ways, as a career law enforcement officer, as a Black man,” he said. “Today is a somber day, it should be a somber day for this whole nation.”
NYPD Lt. Kaz Daughtry was asked what he would say to those who think police are part of the problem.
“I say that’s wrong,” Daughtry said. “Police officers, they’re mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles. We’re human beings.”
Daughtry said that the main lesson he learned from Floyd’s death was to better communicate with everyone.
Mayor Bill de Blasio believes things can change with time.
“A year later, we have to ensure that we remember George Floyd in action. Every day in the city, more reform to be done, more work to be done.”