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Black Lives Matter Phoenix Leader Concerned About Police Approach To Community
Thursday night, in its final meeting before a summer break, the Phoenix City Council approved new funding related to the Phoenix Police Department.
Firstly, $150,000 was approved for a study on officer-involved shootings in Phoenix. According to the city, there were 23 officer-involved shootings just in the first five months of 2018, that’s typically the number that happens in a full year.
"So they’re going to look at a statistical analysis over five to 10 years of our officer-involved shooting patterns," said Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams on KJZZ's The Show. "They’re going to look at our policy, they’re going to look at our training, they’re going to look at our practices. They’re going to look at individuals who were involved in this officer-involved shooting, so it’s a two-way street. It’s not just looking at PD. It’s also going to be looking at those individuals we engaged with."
Secondly, the city approved another $150,000 toward Implicit Bias and Cultural Competence Training for the Phoenix Police Department. The department hopes this training will strengthen the relationship between officers and the community.
But some community members at Thursday night’s meeting were not supportive of these approaches.
Several public comments echoed one another, that there was a lack of community input in the council’s and police department’s decisions, even though the council had made a point of asking for community input this time around.
Parris Wallace answered that call. She had attended just about every City Council meeting and subcommittee meeting she could over the last few months. As an organizer for Black Lives Matter Phoenix Metro, she has demanded that the council include things that matter to her community in their budget. But after last night’s meeting, she says, it was all lip service.
The Show sat down with Wallace to talk about her concerns.