By Royce Jones

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A demonstration was held at Westinghouse Park in Point Breeze one year after George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer.

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Pittsburghers remembered Floyd on Tuesday with a rally and memorial service. Many across the region are recognizing his death as a push start for police accountability.

For 10 minutes on May 25, 2020, the world watched as Floyd pleaded for air until his final breath. Some still feel haunted by the images to this day.

“I get anxiety attacks,” said Susan Howard. “And every time I see that man, I don’t even like to call him an officer, put his knee on George Floyd’s neck, it’s heartbreaking.”

Calls for justice around the world were echoed across our region as hundreds of thousands took to the streets last summer in protest of police violence.

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“With George Floyd, people were like OK, we finally believe you,” said Tanish Long, the founder of Black Lives Matter Pittsburgh and Southwest Pennsylvania. “It’s been happening this whole time and they should have believed us this whole time.”

Actions that would later spur sweeping changes to local law enforcement, including tougher regulations on solitary confinement in the Allegheny County Jail and nixing no-knock warrants in the city of Pittsburgh.

But agencies like the city-funded Pittsburgh Citizen Police Review Board foresees more changes, including increased diversity in the police department and more education for officers.

“There’s more in the mandate from the charter than just investigating and processing complaints against police officers,” said Beth Pittinger, the executive director of the Citizen Police Review Board. “There is reapportionment to be made in the communities. Expanding our ability to work with the schools”.

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The five-member board is also calling on city leaders to boost its budget to create its own community engagement team to oversee the police.