In wake of Nichols killing, Orlando activists call for change to policy

Orlando activists call for law enforcement to update use-of-force policy

ORLANDO, Fla. – A candlelit vigil for Tyre Nichols was held outside Orlando Police Headquarters on Wednesday evening.

The group of activists called for local law enforcement in Central Florida to update their use-of-force policy and provide more transparency.

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Lawanna Gelzer has spent years calling attention to what she calls unjust policing policies.

“They keep changing their policies to cover up their bad behavior,” Gelzer said. “The message I have for you is that you’ve had too many opportunities to do the right thing. Leave the force. Get the right ones in. You’ve had enough training. Equity, Equity, equity. We’ve marched and marched. We’ve brought you the statistics.”

Aston Mack said segregated communities in Central Florida are at an increased risk of being racially targeted by law enforcement.

“We turn black bodies into discourse and into tweets and into news headlines for the week. For us to just talk about for a minute,” Mack said. “Why do you think all the streets on this side of the highway are crappy and all the streets on that side looks nice? Why do you think the street is called Division in the first place?”

Tina Wilson is the co-founder of The Juneteenth Project Coalition. Wilson and several others in attendance Wednesday evening are calling on Monique Worrell to investigate cases of alleged police brutality. Wilson pointed to a previous Central Florida case where she believes offices should have been charged.

“It took them a year just to get the video of a mentally challenged man who was in emotional distress, and he was razed to death in 2020. It took that family a year, and we are sick of it,” Wilson said.

The group also emphasized a need to engage and participate at all times and not just protest after a police shooting garners national media attention.

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About the Author:

Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.