Group of citizens seek to improve police accountability - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

Group of citizens seek to improve police accountability

A group of community activists rallied together Tuesday afternoon, calling for a change in police procedure.

Following the video beating of Duanna Johnson, a fight of a different kind has been ignited. A crackdown on all police brutality.

On a clear and crisp summer day, in front of city hall, there was talk of a list of demands for the city council.

"In order to reform to improve the procedures of the city and the city police department," Amy Livingston of the Mid-South Peace & Justice Center said.

Amy Livingston of the Mid-South Peace and Justice center spoke of new oversight and new rules to make for a better trained police department.

"We basically want to improve accountability of the Memphis Police Department in terms of its civil and human rights procedures," Livingston said. 
This comes in response to the beating of transgender prostitute suspect Duanna Johnson last February. The surveillance was leaked to Action News Five last month.

"We need help. Justice needs to prevail," concerned citizen Deondria Bland said. 

The list of demands include reappointment of a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender liaison to the Memphis Police department, the mayor's office, and city council. It also calls for gender and sensitivity training for all officers and to create a public accountability office for the city of Memphis and support a city-wide nondiscrimination bill.

"Of course there needs to be more of a transparency," councilperson Janis Fullilove said.
Council members did not speak on the list of demands but agreed about oversight.
"We need to look at all facts and make the best decisions possible and accountability is very important," councilperson Edmund Ford, Jr. said.    
Action News 5 spoke with Memphis Police spokesperson Monique Martin who said sensitivity training is part of an officers overall training and the department investigates all complaints of police brutality.

Meanwhile, members of the peace and justice center insist they will be back in two weeks to get an update on their list of demands.

Click here to e-mail Andrew Douglas.

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