Wilmington Black Lives Matter group speaks out at city council

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Black Lives Matter group spoke out at City Council Tuesday night.

Dozens showed up to support the cause with signs and chants to voice their concerns.

“A citizen review board is definitely needed for law enforcement,” Activist Cameron Parker said.

Cameron Parker said it would allow the citizens to have a voice.

“Our mission is very specific to police law enforcement,” Parker said.

He said law enforcement needs to be held more accountable.

“There’s just way too many people who are hurting in this community who have lost lives and who are victims of just all kind of harassment who have no where to turn,” Parker said.

That is why they are asking for a review board and petitioning House Bill 1083. Parker said the bill makes it more difficult for people to vote to get something on a ballot. He said they have been working on this for the last year.

“We’ve been working on it for quite some time,” Parker said. “The things that have happened nationally have only heightened the intensity, but our intensity has been there for a while.”

Mayor Bill Saffo addressed the request, but he said there is something in the way of getting a citizen review board.

“The state was not going to allow this to happen,” Saffo said. “The legislature said no.”

Saffo said the general assembly voted on this type of thing in House Bill 193 in 2015 and it failed.

“It’s really disheartening,” Parker said.

Saffo said city and county leaders are working on a community relations board and bridging the gap between police and people, but Parker said they are still not being heard.

“You have all these citizens that are out here making pleas, Parker said. “We’re the people. We’re the citizens. We’re the voices that are crying for the help we need and then, you get a response that’s like, ‘Oh, I hear you, but we’re not going to try this anyway.'”

Law enforcement, city and county leaders discussed the community relations committee last week. They still need more applications. If you would like to apply to be on the community relations board, they are looking for people with backgrounds in civil rights, education, religious and business. Click here to find out how to apply. 

Categories: Community, Local, New Hanover

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