NewsAmerica in Crisis


Palm Beach County leaders reflect 1 year after George Floyd's killing

'Biases have got to change,' State Sen. Bobby Powell says
Posted at 4:08 PM, May 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 17:31:00-04

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — A year after the world saw George Floyd murdered by a Minneapolis police officer, two leaders in Palm Beach County spoke about Floyd's death and the change they are still hoping for.

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Bishop Melvin Pinkney in Lake Worth Beach was just one of the organizing forces behind the demonstrations after George Floyd's death last year.

"For me and for the community, it opened our eyes," Pinkney said.

One year later, Pinkney reflected on what happened that day in Minneapolis and how it sparked outrage across the world.

Bishop Melvin Pinkney
Bishop Melvin Pinkney reflects on the killing of George Floyd one year later.

"I still feel the same way about police officers. I still feel that we need them," Pinkney said. "It's tough, people still dying people, still getting shot, people still being killed by police officers, and it's just rough."

RELATED: Treasure Coast talks race, policing 1 year after George Floyd's death

State Sen. Bobby Powell of West Palm Beach talked about his experience.

"I've never had a gun pulled on me by a citizen. The only time guns have been pulled on me, and it's happened three times, twice in Palm Beach County and once in Tallahassee by law enforcement," Powell said.

State Sen. Bobby Powell
State Sen. Bobby Powell says he has had a gun pulled on him by officers on three separate occasions.

Powell, who grew up in Riviera Beach, said he hopes the awareness that came after Floyd's murder remains and leads to meaningful change.

"Biases have got to change. People have to recognize that because I'm a dark-skinned African American or Black person, I'm not dangerous to you, and you don't have to pull a gun out the minute you see me," Powell said.

Powell said he and felllow lawmakers did pass a police reform bill to ban chokeholds. He said it's a start and that's what Pinkney is looking for.

"It's bigger than just the governor. It's bigger than just the mayor. It's bigger than a little pastor in a small community. [It's] bigger than me, but I can play a part in it," Pinkney said.