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Police reform discussions now 'ongoing' between Virginia NAACP and Gov. Ralph Northam

'We both agreed to continue our discussions because if we don't talk about what’s happening in the community, we can't get anything done.'

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam met with civil rights leaders Monday afternoon, following several high-profile law enforcement-involved incidents that have come to national attention from the state.

The latest comes from Spotsylvania County, where a deputy shot Isaiah Brown -- an unarmed Black man -- after attorneys say the officer had mistaken a phone he was holding for a gun. 

That comes weeks after a Virginia Beach Police Officer shot and killed 25-year-old Donovon Lynch while responding to reports of gunfire at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, without their body camera being turned on. Earlier in April, video emerged of a Black US Army Lieutenant being pepper-sprayed by a Windsor Police officer, who has since been fired by the Department and is now being sued by Lt. Caron Nazario. 

The meeting, which remained behind closed doors from the media, lasted about an hour and a half starting at 1 p.m. according to Virginia NAACP President Robert Barnette.

“We both agreed to continue our discussions because if we don’t talk about what’s happening in the community, we can’t get anything done," Barnette told 13News Now Monday.

In an interview following the meeting, Barnette did not go into exact details and recommendations from the conversation with Gov. Northam, only that discussions are "ongoing" between the two parties.

This was, however, the first time the two sides have met following the string of officer-related incidents in the Commonwealth. 

Sources close to the NAACP told 13News Now that those discussions involve how other branches of the government, besides the State Legislature, can play a role in helping lower the number of incidents moving forward. 

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