LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Tuesday marks one year since the murder of George Floyd. His death sparked protests and calls for change across the country, including in Las Vegas.
Now, the focus at home has turned to how Metro Police operate.
The department says some policies were adjusted even before the incident involving Floyd, who was killed by a now former Minneapolis Police officer. But new legislation signed by Gov. Steve Sisolak could bring even more change.
During 8 News Now special “Breaking Down Barriers: 1 Year Later,” we spoke to Metro and community activists about where things stand.
“There have been numerous policy changes, and yes, they are working,” said Metro Capt. Yasenia Yatomi.
While use of force policies have been updated, two new bills in Nevada take things a step further. Assembly Bill 58 allows the Attorney General’s Office to do “pattern-or-practice” investigations, which determine if an issue with law enforcement is just the isolated actions of one officer or part of a larger systemic issue. Senate Bill 50 severely limits “no-knock” warrants.
The question now: Will this make a difference?
“We’re moving in the right direction because it is not just a few bad apples that are sort of ruining the punch,” said Kenadie Cobbin-Richardson, a Diversity Consultant for Kengen LLC.
But activists add there is more work to be done.
“It’s a start, but we still have to continue to move it forward,” said Roxann McCoy, president of the NAACP Las Vegas Chapter. “This is not nearly enough. This is just only the beginning.”
Metro understands the road ahead is long, but the department says it is willing to work with the community.
“I couldn’t agree more with inviting the AG’s Office into our investigations,” Yatomi said. “We’re an organization that is not afraid of progressive change.”
The goal is to create an inclusive environment — and honor George Floyd’s legacy.
“I hope that we continue on this track together,” Cobbin-Richardson said.
The panelists also touched on dealing with “bad cops” and recruiting a more diverse police force. You can watch the full “Breaking Down Barriers” special here.