People speak with state senators about social injustices in Nebraska

Source: (KOLN)
Published: Jun. 8, 2020 at 6:13 PM CDT
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The Nebraska Legislative Judiciary Committee hosted its first legislative listening forum allowing people to speak freely about social injustices in Nebraska Monday. The meeting had around 100 people speak out and went for over eight hours. LaShawn Woodard testified at the meeting today saying it's time for action.

"This has been here for over 400 years." Woodard said, "Pain is on our backs and people are fed up." Several people shared stories from recent protests across the state. Rev. Darrell Goodwin said he saw things that'll affect him for quite some time.

"I witnessed an Omaha police person shoot a man with pepper balls in the back seven times," Rev. Goodwin said.

But, it's not just recent events that have affected people. It's also events that have affected them long term. Terrell McKinney said he was unable to get a stable job after he was jumped by police.

'We also need extensive psychological enforcement for all law enforcement," McKinney said.

People testifying today also want chokeholds to be banned, defunding police and reinvesting money and actions that hold police more accountable. Khiry Gilham said he's had several run-ins with law enforcement.

"Every day that I step out here, I got to get up and get that courage to go out the front door." Gilham said, "But at the same time I get that fighting courage, am I going to get gunned down."

People also say they want to see more justice served in the shooting death of 22-year-old James Scurlock. Scurlock was fatally shot by Jake Gardner in the Old Market. The Douglas County attorney has filed a petition for a grand jury after originally not filing charges against Gardner.

The second forum will begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday in Lincoln.

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