BLM Memphis leaders say dialogue for change has started

BLM Memphis leaders say dialogue for change has started
BLM Memphis leaders say dialogue for change has started (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Black Lives Matter Memphis leaders say a meeting held with Mayor Jim Strickland earlier this week was productive, but there is still a lot of work to be done to see real change.

Black Lives Memphis Executive Director P. Moses described it as a meeting of reconciliation.

"Our mission is very clear - we're trying to advance Black Lives by the betterment of the city," Moses said.

During the meeting with the mayor and his staff, the group addressed concerns within the Black community ranging from community health to police reform and economic growth and development.

"We gave him a list of problems, but as a proactive approach we also gave him a list of solutions and results and outcomes that we intend to see," she added.

BLM Memphis leaders say dialogue for change has started

One of the issues that was discussed was the reconfiguration of the Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board or CLERB - a an independent agency with the authority to investigate allegations of misconduct filed by citizens of the public against the Memphis Police Department.

"We don't want people that are not affected by the police to be running a board that should be North Memphis, South Memphis, Klondike, New Chicago - we want representation that looks like our city," said Black Lives Matter member, Karen Spencer McGee.

And as far as police reform, Moses says there should be an emphasis on community policing.

“Instead of police in our schools, we don’t want cops, we want counselors,” she said.

During a press conference Thursday Mayor Strickland said this would be an ongoing discussion.

"Our initial meetings have been concluded, but I want you to know that our discussion and the work in the area of police reform is not over," Strickland said.

"We feel encouraged, but we're not moved until we see action," Moses said.

Black Lives Matter Memphis leaders said Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings was not at this week’s meeting, but the group wants to include him in meetings moving forward.

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