'We don't want to see this anymore:' Durham police chief wants police reform, new standards in wake of George Floyd death

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Topics like race relations and police brutality have come to the forefront of America's attention following the death of George Floyd. The tragic story has been on the minds of police chiefs throughout the country, some of whom are reevaluating their relationships between their agencies and communities.

Three police chiefs, including Durham police chief Cerelyn 'C.J.' Davis, appeared on Good Morning America on Wednesday morning as the unrest continued to grip the country 10 days after Floyd's death. Davis was clear that she felt reform was necessary for law enforcement in their practices and standards, especially for regaining the public's trust.

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Last week, Davis said she was "incensed" at the actions of Minneapolis police and couldn't bring herself to watch the entire video capturing the moments Floyd lost his life. The tragedy has led to widespread unrest, including protests, riots and looting.

WATCH:Durham Police Chief C.J. Davis speaks with ABC11 on how to improve dialogue between cops and community in wake of George Floyd death
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Durham Police Chief C.J. Davis speaks with ABC11 on how to enhance dialogue between cops and community

"Emotions and feelings that we see expressed out on the streets on cities all across the country felt in a way that are substantiated," Davis said. "There have been years and years of systemic racism in law enforcement and for many years NOBLE (National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives) has been on the forefront of those conversations to try to impact change, but I say that we should continue to work with our protesters and individuals in our communities so that they can have the opportunity and the space to express themselves. But at the same time, we also send the message that we have to take care of our community. We still have to live here so we've got to continue to work together so that these types of opportunities to heal are done in a way where everyone is respected."

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New York Chief of Dept. Terence Monahan said there were very few incidents Tuesday night. New York, like many cities, carried a curfew.

"Every agency's different," Monahan said. "Every leader has to be able to take a good, hard look at their agencies and see what they need to do to be able to bridge that gap between their cops and their communities because we've gotta be one. If we're not one, we're not doing our job."

Going forward, Davis expressed that agencies have to be willing to embrace change within their profession. Since Floyd's death, there have been some calls in congress for a nationwide ban on chokeholds and other physical restraints.

"We not just need a nationwide ban, we also need nationwide standards. It's my belief and my organization's belief as we continue to speak with Congress and other legislators that unless we have sweeping changes in police reform and policies aren't treated like a smorgasbord...I believe that we need to have sweeping changes in police reform where we are supportive of legislation and agencies are held accountable for accreditation to ensure that everybody, every agency large and small, have the best practices in place or we're going to continue to see these, we don't want to see this anymore. So we definitely need some standards in our police reform."

Davis, who became Durham's chief of police in June 2016, is the president of NOBLE.

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