Black Mayors Offer Police Reform Plan Without Defunding

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The nation’s black mayors have devised a Peace Pact for Community Centered Policing, the Washington Post reports. The plan by the African American Mayors Association calls for transparency in policing, reevaluating police policies and union contracts, advocating for federal policy changes, improving community engagement, and creating city budgets reflecting community values. Leaders of the group said they want to build on the momentum of the police reform movement ignited by the death of George Floyd, and they do not favor “defunding the police.” “We don’t want to lose the focus of this moment,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, second vice chair of the group. “We don’t have a lot of time. People will be asking, ‘What have you done?’ ”

In Houston, Turner banned chokeholds, required verbal warnings before using deadly force when practical, and said officers must intervene if they see another officer doing something wrong. He also appointed a citizen task force — “no elected officials,” Turner said — to look at issues such as releasing body camera footage, diverting people in crisis from jail and “how to do a reform process without sacrificing public safety.” “We needed to come up with a national standard for community policing to go forward,” said Newport News, Va., Mayor McKinley Price, president of the black mayors’ group. “We do not call for abolishing or defunding police departments. Rather, encouraging cities to adopt budgets that are going to reflect their own values. How they can do things differently, but definitely not ‘defunding.’ ”

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