African American Clergy Calls On Phoenix Leaders To Stand With Chief Williams

By Jimmy Jenkins
Published: Thursday, October 31, 2019 - 3:16pm
Updated: Friday, November 1, 2019 - 8:30am

A group African American clergy members from the Valley delivered a letter to city leaders this week urging them to support Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams. The letter is in response to pushback from the police union after Williams recently fired officers for inappropriate behavior and using excessive force.

The Rev. Reginald D. Walton is the civic engagement chair for the African American Christian Clergy Coalition. He said the group sent a letter to city leaders this week voicing their support for what they see as Williams’ attempts to take on racism in the department. He says despite discussions of a no-confidence vote among the police union, Chief Williams did the right thing.

“Why is it not popular?" Walton asked. "Is it because they don’t see anything wrong with what happened? Or is it because this is the first time that discipline has been meted out in such a fashion?”

“What Chief Williams did was the right thing," Watson said. "When you are in leadership, sometimes you have to take a hard position even when it’s not popular.”

The group also is asking for a citizens review board to provide oversight for the department.

Walton said it would help establish trust between civilians and the police and create a greater sense of transparency.

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