Fort Worth

Fort Worth NAACP, Community Groups Present Demands to City Council on Police-Community Relations

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Members and supporters of a local NAACP chapter spoke before the Fort Worth city council members, listing their demands concerning police and community relations.

The demands were presented close to 10 p.m. Tuesday night during the public comments section of the Fort Worth City Council meeting. They primarily addressed four areas of concern as it relates to the Office of the Police Oversight Monitor.

Kim Neal began her role as the city’s first police monitor in March. The office stemmed from a recommendation made by Fort Worth’s Task Force on Race and Culture.

“What we do is we actively follow a complaint to a point of intake into the police department through an investigation until the final conclusion and findings,” Neal told NBC 5 in an interview earlier this month. “If we note any issues with the investigations process, if we note any issues that we might see where the policies and procedures of the police department might need to be tweaked a little bit better then we can actually point that out throughout that process.”

Estella Williams, president of NAACP Fort Worth Tarrant County, said one of their questions surrounded Neal’s budget to perform her duties. One of the demands presented before city council members Tuesday night included assurance the community will have a role in shaping Neal’s position.

Calling for the establishment of a Civilian Oversight Board, Williams said she did not expect city council members to “take action or have all the answers.” Instead, she stressed it was something she wanted to them to work together on.

“We wouldn’t them to have all the answers without the input from the community themselves, without the input from the folks who are willing to share and discuss,” she said. “You know, communication is powerful. In communicating with one another, it requires listening. It requires sharing. I’m a firm believer that if you’re not at the table, perhaps you may be on the agenda.”

Williams added, the NAACP branch she oversees has not taken a formal stance or position on the defunding of police, which has been brought up by some groups during recent protests stemming from the death of George Floyd.

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