NEW YORK - Many police departments across the country are searching for new approaches to public safety that ensure civil rights in communities of color and correct past injustices. In Minneapolis, the justice system is focusing on Derek Chauvin, the officer accused of murdering George Floyd. So what can be done so this never happens again?
In the days and weeks following the tragic death of George Floyd while under arrest by Minneapolis police, hundreds of thousands of Americans from many walks of life marched alongside the African American community, often under the Black Lives Matter banner.
Devon Jacob is a former police officer and co-counsel on the George Floyd civil case. He said we need to pay attention to the outrage because it's based on reality.
"There is a true problem that needs to be fixed, and that yes, race factors into the problem but the problem is so much greater," Jacob said. "The system needs to be rebuilt from top to bottom."
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Jacob said that if policing is truly to be considered a profession, all police officers should be trained according to the same national standards and be licensed like doctors or lawyers.
The three other police officers on the scene along with Chauvin should never have stood by and done nothing, said Robert Gonzalez, a former assistant commissioner for training for the NYPD. He said change is already underway.
"We're teaching our police officers that if you see someone who's actually using excessive force, you have a responsibility to end that force and if you don't, then you're just as guilty as the person using that force," Gonzalez said. "So that's the new trend. That's what's happening not just locally, but nationally."
Reforming policing tactics is just one aspect of what needs to happen to ensure equal justice for all, according to criminal defense attorney Charles Tucker Jr. The courts are also coming under scrutiny.
"If the foundation is institutionally plagued with racism, let's address the foundation at its root, and let's start rebuilding it," Tucker said.
Another idea you can expect to hear more about is liability insurance for police officers. Just like doctors, they'd have to be insured if they want to wear a badge. If something goes wrong, the insurance would pay the injured person instead of the local government.
Watch more on George Floyd and policing on Street Soldiers at 10:30 p.m. on Friday, April 9, 2021, on FOX 5 NY.