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Rep. James Gailliard appointed to criminal justice reform panel

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RALEIGH — Gov. Roy Cooper has appointed a Nash County state lawmaker to the N.C. Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice.

State Rep. James Gailliard, a Democrat from Rocky Mount, will serve on the task force as a General Assembly representative. Gailliard occupies the House District 25 seat. He serves on the health and appropriations committees as well as the House Select Committee on School Safety. 

Gailliard, pastor at Word Tabernacle Church in Rocky Mount, also serves on the Governor’s Task Force to Develop a Representative and Inclusive Vision for Education. 

“I am grateful to the people willing to serve on this task force to help our state acknowledge racial inequities in our systems of law enforcement and criminal justice, and then work to eliminate them,” Cooper said.

The Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice is co-chaired by N.C. Supreme Court Associate Justice Anita Earls and Attorney General Josh Stein. The task force’s first meeting is scheduled for Friday. That meeting can viewed via YouTube, and comments can be submitted online.

“This task force is a critical step in acknowledging and addressing racial inequities in North Carolina’s criminal justice system. The task force will rely on community involvement, and I look forward to engaging with communities around the state to determine recommendations for addressing systemic racial bias,” Earls said.

Stein said the North Carolinians appointed to the task force are public-spirited people committed to achieving racial equity in the state’s criminal justice system.

“I look forward to working alongside them to find real and meaningful solutions to improve the way Black people are treated in North Carolina. Now it’s time to get to work,” Stein said.