Floyd’s death, which occurred in police custody in Minneapolis in late May, sparked a national movement calling out police brutality and racial injustice.
“I think it’s healthy for us to have this continued dialogue so that we’re all on the same page with sniffing out racism,” Byron Stevenson, pastor of Fort Bend Church said during a virtual discussion hosted by Fort Bend County Judge KP George June 2.
George’s roundtable discussion on June 2 brought together local Black leaders to discuss ways to move forward.
Stevenson said he plans to continue preaching hope as well as encouraging peaceful protesting and voting.
“If what we see makes us angry, then the best way to protest is going to the polls and voting,” Stevenson said during the roundtable discussion.
Stevenson also said he is not anti-law enforcement but that he is anti-injustice and believes these conversations need to continue happening in Fort Bend County.
Pam Robinson, who grew up with Floyd in Houston’s Third Ward, attended his visitation in southwest Houston on June 8. Robinson said she is tired of having to tell her 16-year-old son things, like not to wear a hoodie outside and not to dig in his pockets for his phone if he is stopped by the police, out of fear that the same thing that happened to Floyd could happen to her family.
“One thing about Floyd, he was a good person,” Robinson said. “He took some wrong turns, but he never did [anything to anybody]. He never was a troublemaker. He made some bad decisions, but he was a good guy. He always spoke to the young generation and told them not to make the same mistakes he made. He was a motivating person.”
Robinson hopes the conversations happening now continue to happen.
“It’s making a change, so I hope it continues and we don’t just stop here or stop tomorrow,” Robinson said. “I hope this continues to go on and make a change around the whole world so everybody can live freely.”
State Rep. Ron Reynolds, D-Missouri City, who also attended George’s roundtable talk, said he wants to craft legislation to make sure there are enhanced penalties for law enforcement to serve as a deterrent so instances like Floyd’s death do not continue to happen.
“We know that the majority of law enforcement officers are good, and they’re going to serve and protect,” Reynolds said. “We know just like every profession there are some bad apples, and unfortunately, when those bad apples carry a gun and a badge, things can get very bad if things go wrong.”