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Law enforcement, court officials to speak at Newtown Florist Club's open-air conversation tonight
The Bright Teens United For a Future, or B-TUFF, performing arts team perform before the Newtown Florist Club’s open-air conversation. The June 18 event at the midtown pedestrian bridge brought roughly 100 people to listen to community voices regarding potential criminal justice reform. - photo by Nick Watson

Having heard the concerns of the community, law enforcement and members of the judiciary now will share their concerns at another Newtown Florist Club open-air conversation. 

The event at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 2, is the second phase of a two-part event focused on criminal justice reform. More than 20 people spoke at the June 18 event on national and local issues in the jail, in the courthouse and police departments. 

The Newtown Florist Club, Gainesville's civil rights group, planned the events in response to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others. 

Floyd was held down by the knee of a police officer for roughly eight minutes and 46 seconds in a widely circulated video. The 46-year-old man died while being detained by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Four officers were fired, and criminal charges have been filed. 

Taylor, a 26-year-old Louisville woman, was shot eight times by narcotics detectives who knocked down her front door. 

Taylor's death led to protests and a review of how Louisville police use "no knock" search warrants, which allow officers to enter a home without announcing their presence. 

The Newtown Florist Club presented a list of concerns to law enforcement, including greater transparency, banning no-knock warrants and more body cameras for officers.

Open-air conversation 

What: Community event focused on criminal justice reform 

When: 6 p.m. Thursday, July 2 

Where: Grassy end of pedestrian bridge overlooking Jesse Jewell Parkway