Black Lives Matter Winston-Salem Voices New Demands To County Officials

Black Lives Matter Winston-Salem Voices New Demands To County Officials

5:10pm Jul 28, 2020
Black Lives Matter Winston-Salem organizer Tony Ndege speaks to a small gathering in front of the Forsyth County Government Center in downtown Winston-Salem on July 28, 2020. DAVID FORD/WFDD
  • Roughly 20 Black Lives Matter Winston-Salem protesters demonstrated peacefully in from of the Forsyth County Government Center on Tuesday. DAVID FORD/WFDD

  • After a series of short speeches in front of the Forsyth County Government Center on Tuesday, roughly 20 BLM protesters entered the building and held a silent vigil for several minutes. DAVID FORD/WFDD

Black Lives Matter Winston-Salem is making new demands in the wake of John Neville’s death. In December, the 56-year-old was detained in the Forsyth County jail, but his subsequent death wasn’t publicly announced for seven months. The final moments of his life have remained a mystery.

At a protest in front of the Forsyth County Government Center, Black Lives Matter Winston-Salem organizer Tony Ndege called on county commissioners to cut ties with Wellpath, the jail’s healthcare provider. Five detention officers and one on-duty nurse were charged with involuntary manslaughter earlier this month.

But the video footage capturing the moments before Neville died has yet to be released to the public, and for that reason, Ndege said it’s time for House Bill 972 to go.

"Which made bodycam footage and other law enforcement footage no longer public record," said Ndege. "This has to be repealed. This was one of the victories of the Ferguson movement. This began really the Black Lives Matter movement that we know of today."

Ndege said he stands by the coalition of local and national media organizations that are petitioning a judge to release the footage. He also called for an independent federal investigation.

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