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Groups praise Las Vegas police for reforms after George Floyd death, more work needed

Calls for calm before Chauvin trial conclusion
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department headquarters in Las Vegas, NV as seen in September 2020
LVMPD HQ front 2020.JPG
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Headquarters in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Headquarters in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Headquarters in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the nation as seen in March 2021
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the nation as seen in March 2021
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the nation as seen in March 2021
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the nation as seen in March 2021
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the nation as seen in March 2021
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the nation as seen in March 2021
Posted at 1:48 PM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-31 12:36:40-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV)  — As the trial for fired Minneapolis, Minnesota, police officer Derek Chauvin, accused of murdering George Floyd, continues, there are new calls for calm at the conclusion of the case here in Las Vegas.

The trial could take weeks to wrap up.

Chauvin is accused of kneeling on the neck of George Floyd last May, which sparked international outrage and weeks of protests and racial unrest, including in Las Vegas.

“As people watch this trial, it is human nature to assume what happened in Minnesota could happen here but we want to share with you, the general public, is the fact that there are instances and barriers in place at LVMPD that prevents the type of circumstances that took the life of George Floyd," explained Mujahid Ramadan with the Metro Multi-Cultural Advisory Council.

RELATED: Chauvin trial: Eyewitnesses describe feeling 'failure', 'distressed' watching George Floyd die

On Tuesday, members of the M-MAC spoke at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department headquarters, saying area police have helped improve interactions with the public so something similar does not happen again.

“There were some things here that took place as well that made us really uncomfortable, the fact that Metro would stand and listen is important," said Dora LaGrande, a member of the advisory council.

As 13 Investigates reported in 2019, the high-profile killing of Byron Williams sparked local outrage. Williams said he could not breathe 17 times after being chased and handcuffed for riding a bike without lights and later died.

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The committee recommended a series of changes and there's a focus on de-escalation, putting people in recovery positions for breathing faster and preserving human life.

"We had some things going on here so we worked hard," said LaGrande.

"Metro [LVMPD] listened. They instituted ethics guidelines, and in those ethics guidelines it's one thing to talk about the sanctity of human life but it's another thing to actually work toward maintaining human life."

The Forced Trajectory Project, an organization spotlighting police violence, says there is more work to be done.

The founder believes more reforms are needed at the legislative level to make communities safer.

"When I hear claims of communities involved the communities and behind those that are directly impacted by this violence, it seems a little bit they're trying to appease Metro [LVMPD], trying to appease the public at large, but largely disconnected to realities of those who are actually directly impacted," said Nissa Tzun, of the Forced Trajectory Project.

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo is also calling for calm, no matter what the outcome of the trial.

Watch a replay of Tuesday's press conference in full below: