Story at a glance

  • Davis said unless sweeping changes and police reform occur, protests like the ones seen across the country for more than a week will continue.
  • Protests erupted across the country following the death of George Floyd who died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes.
  • Davis, who became Durham’s chief of police in 2016, is the president of the National Organization for Black Law Enforcement (NOBLE).

A prominent police chief is calling for sweeping reforms to policing in the United States, including a national ban on chokeholds, following the death of George Floyd who died after a Minneapolis officer knelt on his neck for several minutes during an arrest. 

In an interview with ABC’s Good Morning America Wednesday morning, Durham, N.C., police chief Cerelyn “C.J.” Davis said unless sweeping changes and police reform occur, protests like the ones seen across the country for more than a week will continue. Davis, who became Durham’s chief of police in 2016, is the president of the National Organization for Black Law Enforcement (NOBLE).


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“We not just need a nationwide ban, we also need nationwide standards,” Davis told ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos when asked if the country needs a ban on chokeholds in law enforcement practices, like the kind of neck restraint used on Floyd. 

“I believe that we need to have sweeping changes in police reform where we are supportive of legislation and agencies are held accountable for accreditation to ensure that everybody, every agency large and small, have the best practices in place or we're going to continue to see these [protests], we don't want to see this anymore,” Davis said. 

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Davis also acknowledged that there have been “years and years of systemic racism in law enforcement,” and said police officers need to work with protestors and community members so they have the opportunity and space to express themselves. 


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Davis was joined by Terence Monahan, chief of department at the New York Police Department, and Houston police chief Art Acevedo. 

Monahan said police leaders across the country need to “take a good, hard look at their agencies and see what they need to do to be able to bridge that gap between their cops and their communities.” 

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on Memorial Day after he was detained by several Minneapolis police officers. Video showing one of the officers kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as he pleaded with the officer that he couldn’t breathe sparked widespread outrage and days of demonstrations across the country. 

While most demonstrations have remained peaceful, some have devolved into acts of looting and violence overnight. On Tuesday night, peace largely prevailed and clashes between police and the public seemed to subside.

Published on Jun 03, 2020