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Lee County NAACP and Fort Myers Police Department holding police reform meeting Wednesday

Posted at 7:09 AM, May 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-05 10:02:04-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — FORT MYERS, Fla -- The Lee County NAACP is set to meet with local law enforcement Wednesday morning to talk about police reform. They plan to act out and discuss real-life encounters between black people and police.

The meeting will take place at 10:00 a.m. at the Southwest Florida Enterprise Center.

There are three scenarios they plan to act out. They’re meant to simulate black people being pulled over for traffic stops and include discussion on real-life instances where excessive force was used.

Scenario one involves a black person driving down a dark, isolated road. When asked to pull over, it'll simulate that driver reducing their speed, putting their emergency lights on, and continuing so they can pull over in a well-lit, populated area. The driver will park with their hands clearly visible on the wheel.

Lee County NAACP will look at local and nationwide examples where this led to a dangerous encounter with police.

Wednesday’s meeting follows a forum between the black community and police last week. Parents shared their everyday fears about their kids coming home alive, and talked about having "the talk,"and local leaders called for change.

"With my 11-year-old it's 'why mommy? Why? And I have to give him a reason why. Because I need you to come home safe. Your dad and I want to see you," said Michelle Jennings.

"At some point in time people get tired of hearing 'our thoughts and prayers are with you.' So, reform, retrain who we're recruiting, who's doing the recruiting," said Fort Myers Councilman Johnny Streets Jr.

Lee County NAACP says in a second scenario, the driver will extend both hands out the window after a stop. Officers will ask for license and registration. It'll simulate the driver being in fear of their life if they reach for any object, telling officers they're scared, and instead asking to be put in handcuffs while the officers get the information themselves.

Lastly, a third scenario will shine light on mental illness. It'll simulate that person not obeying commands from law enforcement, talking loudly and using profanity, but highlight that the individual does not have a weapon. Then, they'll discuss what the next actions of law enforcement should look like.