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Florida congressman discusses police reforms in wake of George Floyd’s death

Staff Writer
Walton Sun
Walton Sun

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan said he has reached out to black leaders in the wake of George Floyd’s death and looks forward to “further conversations” surrounding police reforms, including requiring body cameras.

Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, also mentioned “discontinuing the use of neck restraints (certainly not necessary when you have someone in handcuffs) and greater communication between police and the communities they serve.”

Here’s Buchanan’s full statement:

The brutal murder of George Floyd should outrage every American. Peaceful protests demanding justice are understandable and are protected by the First Amendment. But violence, looting and destruction of property undermine lawful dissent and should never be tolerated or excused. Those who are burning and looting stores, shooting police officers or beating innocent citizens should be dealt with swiftly and firmly.

Now is the time for our elected leaders to come together and reassure people that their voices will be heard and the challenges we face as a country will be addressed. Politicians in both parties need to refrain from exploiting the tragic developments of the past week and focus on positive actions we can take to ensure that every American receives equal treatment under the law. I've been in touch with African American leaders in our community this week to discuss the issues of racial injustice and excessive police force. I look forward to further conversations around specific actions that include requiring body cameras for police, discontinuing the use of neck restraints (certainly not necessary when you have someone in handcuffs) and greater communication between police and the communities they serve.

It’s time to chart a constructive course with bipartisan cooperation and a positive vision for our future. We can start by listening to one another, instead of yelling and berating each other. The next time you hear a politician in either party castigating someone instead of offering a constructive solution, count them as part of the problem not part of the solution.

This story originally published to heraldtribune.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the USA TODAY Network - Florida.