Community leaders reveal goals for new social justice movement

Community leaders reveal goals for new social justice movement

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Demonstrators took to the streets of Downtown Memphis Friday night for a peaceful protest.

But outside of the marches, there’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes -- alliances being made to take advantage of what some are calling a watershed moment.

After multiple days of protests that have shut down city streets over the untimely death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmed Aubrey.

“It’s only after massive protests that the wheel of justice starts to spin their favor,” said John Ashworth, President of Tennesseans for Historical Justice.

His life revolves around remembering black people who were murdered and never got justice.

Ashworth says Floyd presents a potential new historical moment.

"If we're smart enough to take advantage of this moment future generations, I hope will look back and say this is the moment that America finally confronted who America is,” said Ashworth.

Reports out of Capitol Hill say Congressional Democrats are preparing an ambitious package of police reforms including accountability laws and a database of police use-of-force incidents.

"The way we capitalize on this momentum is that we ingrain it and we memorialize it in policy and legislation so we don’t ever have to witness the slow death and murder of another George Floyd ever again,” said Van Turner, NAACP Memphis Chapter President.

President of the Memphis Chapter of the NAACP Van Turner says work is also happening on the local level.

The NAACP has created an alliance with the local Black Lives Matter group and the Ben F. Jones Chapter of the national Bar association.

"Assisting many of black lives matter members who were arrested, we're assisted with their legal defense,” said Turner.

Turner and Ashworth agree the biggest push should come at the polls.

"But I think the thing we can do is we can put people in office to do the right thing,” said Ashworth.

The Memphis chapter of the NAACP and the Black Caucus of Legislators will be holding their own march at the Temple of Deliverance Church starting at 10 a.m.

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