Discussions continue over police reform and community relations in North Texas

George Floyd’s death led to a nationwide reckoning over police reform.

It's a discussion still being had in North Texas.

The sentence handed down for Derek Chauvin Friday slowly closes a chapter on Floyd’s murder, but the conversation and community relationship with police is really just getting started.

This time last year, thousands marched in Dallas and in cities all over the world, calling for police reform in the wake of Floyd's murder. 

Chauvin, the former officer who killed him, was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison on Friday. 

RELATED: Derek Chauvin sentence: 22.5 years in prison for murder of George Floyd

"It does start to tear down this blue wall ideology where they get just absolute immunity from criminal prosecution," said civil rights lawyer and State Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-Dallas).

"The justice system works, no matter who it’s applied to, and we trust it," said Manny Ramirez, with the Fort Worth Officers' Association.

Floyd's death brought a larger spotlight on police practices and community relations.

FILE - (Photo credit: GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP via Getty Images)

FOX 4 spoke with law enforcement, activists, and civil rights lawyers about what this sentence means and how communities move forward. 

"There is a sense there is accountability, but we still have these injustices that continue to happen," chair of the Dallas Community Police Oversight Board, Jesuorobo Enobakhare Jr., said.

Dallas Police Association President Mike Mata believes both the community and police have to find common issues to tackle together. 

"As a country, we have to look at it, we have to grow, not only as a police profession and see the flaws in our profession, but as a society. We have to see the flaws in society and correct both," he explained.

The Dallas Police Department came under scrutiny after last year’s George Floyd’s protests for the way officers handled them.

That includes limiting the use of less-lethal weapons during public demonstrations and a "duty to intervene" requirement if one officer sees another losing control.

"Police reform isn't about punishing law enforcement, it’s about protecting law enforcement as well as protecting citizens. So many citizens don't feel protected in this climate," Crockett said.

Crockett and other Democrats pushed for sweeping police reform in this year’s legislature, though one bill named after Floyd never made it past committee.

And she expressed some frustration Friday with the length of the sentence.

"If anyone did anything similar to what he did to George Floyd, something tells me the entire book would have been thrown at that person, whether it was a first time offense or not," she said.

In 2019, former Dallas officer Amber Guyger received a 10-year sentence for murdering Botham Jean in his own apartment.

And former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean is awaiting trial for killing Atatiana Jefferson inside her mother’s home.

Both are reminders of the work ahead.

"We have a lot of work to be done," Enobakhare added. "This is historic, but we can't take our foot off the gas pedal."

"I think we have to focus on the meat and potatoes of communications. Really just bridging those gaps with our community and communicating on the front end," Ramirez said.