LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Local law enforcement and NAACP supported the large group of partners who met at the Texas capitol today to discuss new steps to end racial profiling and excessive use of force by authorities.
It stemmed from the viral video from the Dallas suburb, McKinney. Wednesday afternoon, the NAACP held a press conference on police accountability.
"We really have a a detailed system. It's been in place for about 15 years," said Captain Alton Lenderman of the Angelina County Sheriff's Department.
"There will always be interaction of races," said Guessippina Bonner, Lufkin's NAACP Chapter President.
The conference was set in place to take new steps in ending racial profiling and excessive use of force by police. East Texas law enforcement says today, they take careful steps to avoid these kinds of issues.
"We do a yearly report on that and break that down," Lenderman said. "If you look at the numbers, the numbers usually speak for themselves."
A racial profiling report for every agency is turned in periodically. The report incorporates the number of stops, searches, citations, and arrest for every ethnic group.
"They are trying to improve relationships with the police and the public," Bonner said.
Lufkin's chapter president says she can recall experiences of racial profiling.
"The officer told me, I was black, I had an out of state car, and they were looking for people like that," Bonner said.
The NAACP conference is apart of the organization's new campaign "America's Journey for Justice."
"There are going to be things that happen. I mean that's just the nature of the beast in law enforcement in the community," Lenderman said.
"There's a check and balance in place because even if we don't get complaints it helps us monitor," Lenderman said.
Authorities and NAACP members seem to agree that the emergence of several racially charged incidents comes on the heels of social media use.
"We might not be able to, but the kids can use Facebook, Twitter, and other things. The cameras have phones on them. It's broadcasted as soon as it happens," Bonner said.
"It's a whole new era, a whole new field, and everyone is trying to get adjusted to it," Lenderman said.
The local organizations believe that working together is the only way to continue progression.
" I believe in listening and getting input from them and seeing what they think the solution is. We're all in this together," Lenderman said.
"Let's make it work because we can," Bonner said.
That new campaign will also include a historic 860-mile march from Selma to Washington, D.C.