Taking the Lead 2020

The president of the NAACP Edna Clinton hosted a town hall Zoom with the goal to create better criminal justice and social justice policies for the city of Ames. Iowa State Police Chief Michael Newton said he is working with the Iowa State Police Department communication staff to figure out how to effectively intervene in a biased phone call.

Leading with the topic of social justice, the third virtual panel of “Taking the Lead 2020” will take place 6 p.m. Thursday. 

Ames NAACP President Edna Clinton, members of the NAACP and the city of Ames have all partnered together to create the series “Taking the Lead 2020: Policing & Justice.” Clinton came up with the idea to show the community of Ames the police department is not capable of unjust and brutal behavior.

The event, as well as protests, took place after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who was asphyxiated by former Minnesota police officer Derek Chauvin.

“Residents of Ames and Story County, we can no longer sit back and idyllically believe that this will not, or cannot, happen in our communities,” Clinton said in a statement. “Therefore it is time that we do something. That we come together as a community and cease simply talking. Talking is no longer enough. There has to be some type of evidence to say and to indicate that policing in Ames, Iowa, is consciously, moment by moment, giving priority to protect and serve all in its truest sense of the words.” 

The goals for adapting the social justice and criminal justice policies came from the Ames City Council that related to diversity and inclusion rules to create an encouraging environment for the people in the community.

“Taking the Lead 2020” is the third of four town halls that will open up the discussion of social justice.

The third event will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday with the topic of how criminal laws and county ordinances are enforced in ways that result in equitable treatment of all local residents. 

Jazzmine Brooks, equity and inclusion coordinator at Iowa State, and Jordan Brooks, director of equity, inclusion and multicultural success at Iowa State will be moderating the event. Story County attorney Timothy Meals and Shawn Smith, criminal and personal injury litigation from the Smith Law Firm, will be panelists of the event. 

Questions for the panel can be submitted through the NAACP website and the town hall will take place on Zoom. Residents can also call 312-626-6799 to phone in during the meeting. It will also be broadcasted live on Mediacom Channel 12 and livestreamed through the city’s website and YouTube channel

The video will also be archived on the city of Ames website.

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