City leaders, activists discuss future of police review board
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Talks between city leaders and community activists could mean changes to Bluff City law enforcement in a matter of weeks.
Wednesday Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland held the second meeting with community leaders, clergy members, law enforcement officials and activists to work toward change when it comes to police reform within the city.
Activists Devante Hill and Frank Gottie sat in on that meeting and talked about the progress being made.
“We’re moving at a pace to ensure that we’re as productive, but professional, as possible,” Hill said.
Hill says one of the biggest changes we could see is to the Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board, or CLERB, which is an independent agency with the authority to investigate allegations of misconduct filed by citizens against the Memphis Police Department.
"I think CLERB has been taken for a joke up until this point," Hill said.
Pastor Ricky Floyd, Interim Chairman for CLERB, actually agrees with Hill.
"It feels like a toothless dog," Floyd said. "We have a bark but sometimes I feel like people aren't afraid because we have no bite."
Floyd hopes that changes soon - starting with fixing structural issues within the organization, hiring more staff members, filling vacant board seats and working on community relations.
He feels this is a good start to reestablishing the voice within CLERB which he hopes will lead to better accountability with the Memphis Police Department.
“Yesterday was probably one of the most productive meetings I’ve sat in on any issues because there were a lot of transparent moments and real issues were discussed,” Floyd said.
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