Philadelphia police, community mark one year since George Floyd's murder

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Residents in Philadelphia and the surrounding region gathered on Tuesday to remember George Floyd one year after he was murdered by former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin.

In a video released on Twitter, Philadelphia police officers could be seen holding up handwritten signs detailing what they've learned in the year since Floyd's murder.

"We still have work to do in building relationships with the communities we serve," read one sign.

Another officer held a sign that read, "Authentic dialogue, active listening and action creates strength and unity."

The video also featured a speech by Commissioner Danielle Outlaw who reflected on what the department has learned since the killing.

Outlaw says she is proud of the work officers have done not just in the past year but throughout their careers. But, she adds, there's more work to be done.

"As the expectations of society evolve, so must the way we police," she said. "We are asking our officers to be introspective and find additional ways to connect with their communities."

On the north side of City Hall, a vigil was held on Tuesday night for Floyd.

"The silence was deafening," said Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Lori Dumas.

For event organizers, it's also about spotlighting what's happening in real-time within our communities.

"George Floyd, it happened a year ago, but what we have going on constantly around the community and also around the country, it's unjust for our Black and brown folks," said Wendell Royster.

Outside of Philadelphia, a Black Lives Matter rally was held in King of Prussia in honor of Floyd. And outside the Old Bucks County Courthouse, residents laid roses, calling for an end to police brutality.

Some residents say more policing isn't the key to change.

"One of our demands is taking 20% of the budget away and then shifting those resources into community organizers," said YahNe' Ndgo, a community organizer with Black Philly Radical Collective and a former core organizer with Black Lives Matter Philly.

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One year after the murder of George Floyd, St. Joseph's University's first Black student body president, Taylor Stokes, is speaking out about how the tragedy rocked her campus.

Krystal Strong, a core organizer with Black Lives Matter Philly, agrees with that notion.

"Let us redistribute those resources that are being monopolized by police into our community institutions," she said, envisioning a world where she says police won't be necessary if people have the resources they need.

Strong and Ndgo have spent the past year organizing and mobilizing with Black Lives Matter Philly and the Black Philly Radical Collective. They say they've seen progress in the past year, but not necessarily change.

"These systems are reluctant to change. And when they do change, they change in the most incremental fashion," she said. "So they change in the form of a guilty verdict, but not necessarily transforming the conditions of policing that allowed George Floyd to be murdered in the first place."

As Philadelphia's Faith-Based and Interfaith Affairs Commission gathered virtually to mark the year after Floyd's murder, community activists say it'll take far beyond a year to see real change.

"It's not that we will never be satisfied," said Ndgo. "We will never be satisfied with injustice."

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