PEARLAND — The cities of Pearland and West Columbia Texas announced
they are supporting the Texas State Conference of NAACP Units’
comprehensive Change the World-Texas Restorative Criminal Justice Plan in changing the world
of policing and treatment of African Americans in the aftermath of the horrific killing of Floyd,
said Mayors Tom Reid of Pearland and Laurie Kincannon of West Columbia.
The state NAACP plan comprises five critical areas of action. They are community engagement;
police recruitment and training; police discipline and management; grand jury and trial
initiatives; and legislative action. It also offers immediate and long-term action steps.
“The relationship and collaboration between the Pearland Police Department and the Brazoria
County Chapter of the NAACP is the true essence of the Pearland community. We believe in
being inclusive and we accomplish that by building relationships between our community, local
organizations, and the governing body. With open lines of communication, we work together to
shape the community that we want to live in and leave for generations to come.” said Reid, the
mayor of Pearland. Floyd is buried across the street from the police station in Pearland.
Floyd’s family had asked for action to this big “opportunity to change the world,” said Philonise
Floyd, Floyd’s brother. “Floyd’s killing prompted us to request scrutinized law enforcement and
the legal system here in Texas, which is riddled with black bodies from encounters with police
oftentimes in the most minor, nonviolent of circumstances. We must address the systemic racism
racism in our law enforcement system to make the change that has been needed for decades.
We can’t do this alone — we need Texans from different walks of life to help us push forward.”
“The City of West Columbia is committed to recognizing the dignity of all its citizens and the
diverse contributions by all groups. The City stands against all forms of bigotry and racism and
declares that no one should be discriminated against because of race, faith, ethnicity, gender,
age, disability, sexual orientation or any other real or perceived difference,” said Mayor
Kincannon of West Columbia.
“The City recognizes that it cannot change the past, but it is committed to working together to
create a positive climate for the future,” Kincannon added. “ The City pledges to take pro-
active steps to create and maintain a community in which the humanity and dignity of every
person is nurtured and preserved, preventing the escalation of unjust behavior and preserving
basic civil rights for every citizen of our community.”
“I am absolutely pleased with this action by these two cities. Texas history is replete with
discriminatory and racist policies toward people of color, including policing practices. The Texas
NAACP’s plan is an essential guide for all communities looking for ways to address police
reforms and institutional racism in this state,” said State Senator Jose Rodriguez of El Paso
One important step according to the plan is for NAACP units across the state to reach out and
create conversations involving different races, religions, beliefs, political parties, businesses, et
al. The hope is that those conversations will yield truth and reconciliation initiatives in
communities across the state.
Local chapter President Eugene Howard praised the action of the two cities for acting. “The
hope is to build a coalition of promise that can change the world because it’s not the screams of your enemies but the silence of your friends and good people that will be remembered. “
“It has been an honor to work with Mr. Howard and the NAACP on this initiative. There are so many areas where we agree and can make constructive progress in building community trust. The Pearland Police Department remains committed to an open dialog with the community we serve,” said Chad Randall, Assistant Chief of Police for Pearland.
“This speaks to my generation because so many of the people who are being victimized and
needlessly harmed are younger people. We saw that in how some law enforcement handled
protestors of color and how we tend to be the ones who are most often racially profiled,” said
Shevann Steuben, president of the Texas NAACP Youth and College Division.
“Keep in mind Sandra Bland was 28,” Steuben added. “If communities mobilize behind this
plan, senseless deaths and brutality can be prevented.”
A key area is the focus on recruitment and training of law enforcement personnel.
Psychological screening tools and effective anti-racist and curative training are essential, the
plan points out.
“Police academies put too much focus on warrior-like culture and train officers to say they fear
for their lives in nonviolent circumstances to justify unnecessary use of force,” State President
Gary Bledsoe said. “In addition, too many veteran officers pass along racist stereotypes and
tropes to entering cadets and inexperienced officers that portray Black people as inherently
violent or prone to violence in any situation. Our Change the World-Texas Plan aims to change
that toxic culture with the truth and facts about Black people.”
Bledsoe added, “Our goal is to create a culture in policing and the legal system that respects the
full humanity of African American Texans. Our plan is not anti-police, because we support good
officers. Our plan is anti-police brutality. We are asking all city governments in the state to join
in supporting this initiative.”
“When asked to support the Change the World-Texas plan, I immediately said ‘yes’ because
there is nothing else at the present time that could make such a difference in each of our
communities,” said Sam Stolbun, Houston businessman and philanthropist. “Working together
to implement this plan, we can solve longstanding problems of racism in our policing and legal
systems. Thank you, Pearland and West Columbia, for your support.”
“The Family of George Floyd would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to the NAACP – Brazoria
County Chapter, Pearland PD, West Columbia PD and everyone else who played a vital part in making
this day special for our family. George's name and his legacy will live on forever!”
Bledsoe said to help finance and implement the plan, the State NAACP is seeking public and
private partners. “This is a Texas problem that requires a Texas solution with all hands-on
deck,” Bledsoe said.
For more information and to read the complete plan, go to http://www.txstatenaacp.org