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Mayoral candidate calls for additional dialogue on racial equity, defends police

Published: Aug. 3, 2020 at 6:52 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Former Roanoke Mayor and current candidate David Bowers is calling for more dialogue on racial equity, but he says he does not support calls to defund the police.

Bowers spoke with reporters during a teleconference Monday morning. He is running for Mayor as an Independent.

If elected in November, Bowers said he will call for a day of prayer, neighborhood meetings and a racial equality scorecard for city government.

But he said he will stand up for law enforcement.

“In fact, if I could I would refund police, I would refund them for all the good that they’ve done in our community for so many years,” Bowers said. “And I would include the firemen, and the sheriff’s deputies, and the teachers, social workers, sanitation workers and all city employees.”

Roanoke Mayor Sherman Lea declined a formal interview Monday afternoon. He said he believes the city is having a constructive dialogue on racial issues, and is moving forward in ways he will discuss during the State of the City Address later this month.

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