Lauderhill Police Chief Constance Stanley says watching the cellphone video showing the last moments of George Floyd’s life while under the knee of Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin hit her hard on many levels.
“I can say it was very emotional, devastating and I just could not believe what I was seeing right before my eyes,” Stanley said.
The police chief worked up the ranks within her Lauderhill department, starting in 1994. She says she became a police officer to affect change after an eye-opening experience between her brother and a police officer long ago.
“There are five of us in law enforcement, and I remember my brother, he used to drive a Honda Prelude. My dad had a business and he worked with my dad. One day, he was stopped by police, and they said, 'This is not your car. Where did you steal it from? And, oh I bet you got guns in your car. Let me see what’s in your trunk,'" Stanley recalled.
Community programs and events like Slow Roll, a yearly bike ride through Lauderhill connecting the community and police officers, are ways Stanley has worked towards change.
Speaking only to NBC 6, Stanley also expressed the importance of a “customer service” approach to the community at her department.
“I always say when you have a person and you are citing them, and you can tell after you write that citation, they say thank you, then you’ve done your job,” she said.
Stanley presented some of the department’s accomplishments to city commissioners Wednesday.
“In 2018 and 2019, our agency didn’t receive any complaints for profiling and that’s based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status," Stanley said.
She says their agency has also never allowed chokeholds in its history.
“Definitely you can see, and as everyone saw, it can definitely cause a life. It doesn’t even make sense to do that," Stanley said.
The chief says she plans on hiring a body-worn camera administrator, dedicated to reviewing video. She says she will also be instituting more diversity training.
“Here we are trying to move forward, every time we do something as a law enforcement community, you have someone that does something who makes us all look bad," Stanley said.