HAMPTON, Va. — As tensions rise across the country, there's a sense of unity across Hampton Roads. That was shown over the weekend, despite unrest in Virginia Beach.
Police chiefs stood among crowds that were demanding action.
Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew, Portsmouth Police Chief Angela Greene and Hampton Police Chief Terry Sult each believe the protests that remained peaceful across Hampton Roads were a result of the relationships and trust they've built with their communities.
All three joined different demonstrations over the weekend. The three of them were also together Sunday night at a "Justice Rally" in Newport News.
Each Chief said they are committed to doing everything possible to prevent a tragedy like this from ever happening.
Chief Greene said she will use the video of Floyd on the ground for training within her department to show unacceptable use of force. The Newport News Police Department will revisit existing policies. The Hampton Police Division will continue to mandate the highest quality training in professional policing especially in de-escalation and critical incident management.
All three offered an apology to George Floyd’s family.
“I am proud of our citizens who had a voice, we respected that, and they respected property and life,” Chief Drew said.
“We hear you, after today let's have these talks, how we can show you we support you and that we are here to protect and serve,” Chief Greene said.
“These are the kind of events we need to have, expressing your voice, coming together in unity to solve a problem,” Chief Sult said.
There was another group of protesters that tried to keep the peace, but things took a turn Sunday.
Members with Black Lives Matter 757 said they were not responsible for the destruction that took place in Virginia Beach.
"We attempted to do it the right way,” Aubrey Japharii Jones said. “Outsiders may have participated in things that we didn’t. We are also disappointed in Virginia Beach police.”
Jones said the group is working on a plan to assist the businesses affected by Sunday night's protests.