Local police departments, NWA NAACP members come together to promote change


FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – People across the country are remembering a life that was lost a year ago today. It became a name known around the world: George Floyd. He was an unarmed black man who died at the hands Minneapolis police.

That death is still leaving an impact on Arkansas a year later.

In northwest Arkansas, local police departments and the NWA NAACP have teamed up to promote positive change in our community. They met as a group on May 17, 2021.

“We went into the meeting wanting to have some really safe and healthy conversations with police officers,” said Joi McGowan, Secretary of NWA NAACP.

Bentonville Police Chief Jon Simpson said there were conversations on transparency, hiring processes, background checks for employees and how to handle complaints.

McGowan also said the protests following Floyd’s death in Bentonville and Fayetteville from 2020 were discussed.

“We’re all trying to do the same thing here,” Simpson said. “We’re all trying to provide the best quality policing that we can for northwest Arkansas.”

“Sometimes them as like, them and us,” McGowan said. “To just know that you guys want to, like, break down that divide with us and want to create more bridges so that people have that transparency, have that connection… I think that was really supportive.”

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