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Democrat lawmakers in Florida discuss racial inequalities in America

Rep. Val Demings said that she took her experience as a social worker with her when she joined the Orlando Police Department

The Florida Democratic Party held a virtual meeting on Thursday evening to talk about racial injustice in America. 

Democratic members of the U.S. Congress from Florida all spoke about how best to use the momentum built up from protests during the past several weeks. 

Rep. Val Demings said that she took her experience as a social worker with her when she joined the Orlando Police Department. 

“I went to the police department with a social worker’s attitude and realized that we could not arrest our way out of every problem that we had to address some of the social issues that cause decay in the community in the first place,” said Demings.

During the discussion, Rep. Stephanie Murphy shared how her family was a minority in the community where she grew up. Murphy went on to say that systemic racism goes beyond the criminal justice system, mentioning unequal access to healthcare and education.

"If we are going to heal as a country, it's got to start with us first, strongly stating what we believe. If we are going to live up to America's foundational creed, that every person has the right to life and liberty," said Murphy.

Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said that recent outrage across the country is partially because people have access to videos showing alleged police brutality. 

“Technology, we are starting to see things for ourselves because of cell phones and surveillance videos. Not because the police are giving us the body cam footage,” Crump said.

Several members of congress also mentioned the importance to pass legislation for police reform.


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