Protestors demand CCSD police reform, officer’s firing following altercation near Durango High School
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Civil rights groups called for action outside the Clark County School District headquarters Friday night. Demonstrators demanded a school police officer lose his badge after an aggressive confrontation with a Black student.
Dozens protested outside the district offices in response to the incident Feb. 9 near Durango High School.
Organizers said nearly two-dozen community groups held the protest and press conference. The groups included the NAACP, National Action Network and 1865 No Racism in Schools.
“Our students need to feel safe. Not policed,” co-founder of 1865 No Racism in Schools Akiko Cooks said.
It was a diverse group that included students and adults that spoke, chanted and carried signs.
“That could have been me. That could have been my sister. That could have been my brother,” sophomore at CCSD Gyanna Perry said.
They demand reform within the CCSD Police Department.
“For all of these voices to come together in unity, and stand on what is right is very important,” Cooks said. “And that’s loud, and the district has to listen to that.”
Protestors demanded improved and specialized training for school officers and some called for them to be removed all together.
“Instead replacing them with social workers and psychologists who actually know how to work with kids. Not police,” CCSD senior Crystal Villarin said.
The officer involved was reassigned and is not working in the field pending the outcome of the investigation, according to CCSD police.
Demonstrators said this is not an isolated incident.
“There are three incidents off the top of my head besides this one,” Cooks said. “Police brutality against Black [students] that’s what happened.”
CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara called for a review of police department’s use of force policies.
Organizers have met with district and police leaders. CCSD Police Chief Mike Blackeye said a task force is being formed with community leaders.
“The primary goal of the committee will be to inform and provide feedback to solve issues and concerns collectively while also providing committee members a better understanding of the operations and functions of the Department. The first agenda item will be their review of the Use of Force policy and protocols,” he said in a statement.
Blackeye said a thorough investigation is required before any decisions on the officer’s future are made.
“Anything less would be a disservice to all parties involved,” Blackeye said.
Las Vegas NAACP president Quentin Savwoir read a statement from the Durango High School student’s mother. It said in part, “we are so heartened to know we have a community at our back.”
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