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As a global movement has arisen in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer, protesters have taken to the streets demanding an end to an unjust criminal justice system for black people. In the Central San Joaquin Valley, protests have been held in Fresno — but also in Madera, Visalia, Hanford, Kingsburg and Woodlake — in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
But what does this mean in Fresno?
At the “We Can’t Breathe” protest May 31, organized by the Fresno State NAACP chapter, a list of demands was presented, and they will be heard by the City Council. For many years, advocates have been pushing for reform within the Fresno Police Department and a much larger emphasis on community policing.
But what exactly is community policing, and how do different groups define it? Are police departments the appropriate institution to address issues around community safety and well-being?
Joining her for the discussion will be:
- Jerry Dyer, Fresno mayor-elect and former Fresno police chief
- Marcel Woodruff, an organizer with Faith in the Valley
- Dr. Francine Oputa, diversity and inclusion consultant
- DJ Kay Rich, radio personality, DJ, and community advocate
- Oliver Baines, former Fresno police officer, city councilmember, and head of the new Fresno Police Reform Commission
Send your questions: We are taking your questions in advance for our guests. Please send your thoughts and questions to Fresnoland policy and engagement editor Danielle Bergstrom at email@example.com.