City moving forward with racial injustice discussions

Published 8:01 am Friday, August 14, 2020

Interim City Manager Earl Coffey told the Danville City Commission Monday that he and City Attorney Stephen Dexter have been engaged in ongoing discussions with city employees about the presentation of demands from the United For Change – Danville organization last month.

Coffey said he plans to bring information from those discussions to the commission later this month, with a target date of Monday, Aug. 24.

“The city attorney and I have met and discussed the community unrest related to the Black Lives Matter discussion, and we are anticipating to report back to you on Aug. 24,” Coffey said. “Right now, staff is collecting some data in the background and we are allowing them time to finish that process, primarily the police. Then ourselves, we will report back to you.”

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Coffey said that if the commission is in favor, they will be prepared to host an open forum with community stakeholders.

That forum could come later in the month or possibly in September.

Representatives from the United For Change-Danville group appeared before the Danville City Commission in July to present a document outlining demands for change within city government.

Cheryl Burton, Ann Goodwin, and Josh Stamper appeared on behalf of the local group, which promotes equality, justice, equity and diversity inclusion in the Danville/Boyle County community.

The group presented several areas in which it wanted to see changes, including policing, education, healthcare, economic development, and other areas.

Among the changes in policing that were included were the establishment of a citizens review board, body and dash cameras for all officers, reviews of lethal force and no-knock policies, annual implicit bias training, development of recruiting strategies to attract diverse officers, and addressing issues of racial profiling, among others.