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THIS WEEK: Davenport NAACP plans new initiative after the Chauvin verdict

The George Floyd murder conviction could be a Quad City catalyst for change

DAVENPORT, Iowa — The Davenport NAACP plans to introduce new policing initiatives in the coming weeks as communities large and small react to the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.

"We will soon have a news conference to alert the public on how we are working on policies, training, accountability, funding, recruitment, and hiring practices," said Michael Guster, president of the Davenport NAACP on "News 8 THIS WEEK with Jim Mertens".

Gauvin said the initiative will also encourage more youth programs and community outreach.

He said details on the NAACP plans will be announced in the coming weeks.

Gauvin says the NAACP has a good working relationship with the Davenport and Bettendorf police departments, the Scott County Sheriff's Department and Iowa State police.

"I think there's room for improvement always," he added.

You can listen to our entire interview with Davenport NAACP President Michael Guster on THE CITIES PODCAST.

Gauvin said he believes the guilty verdict of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Gauvin in the killing of George Floyd will be seen as a "watershed moment".

"Many other times there's been a videotape available but it has not been this explicit."

He said he believes more citizens will use their cellphones to document what they see as police overstepping the bounds.

But he said he also fears for this generation.

"I have a seventeen year old grandson, an eighteen year old grandson, and I am just terrified in terms of when they go out because of this simple reason: driving."

But he also said he believes this generation, one that is impatient for change, will not let the George Floyd case be forgotten.

"They are saying we are not going to put up with the status quo," he said.

"This generation is so likely to oppose racism and work for change."

You can watch "News 8 THIS WEEK with Jim Mertens" Sunday mornings at 10 on WQAD News 8.