Sun. May 19th, 2024

Councilman proposes resolution for body camera misuse as disqualifying factor for MPD promotional testing

By Rose Johnson

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – Memphis City Councilman JB Smiley Jr. will propose various ordinances to reform police culture and oversight of the Memphis Police Department in the wake of Tyre Nichols’ death.

The legislative changes will enhance the way the police department reports data on stops and arrests.

Councilman Smiley will introduce legislation requiring the Memphis Police Department to be transparent with its data by providing a report on the circumstances of traffic or pedestrian stops, any arrests made as a result of the stop, and, if applicable, any complaints related to the stop and/or arrest.

He will also propose a law mandating that MPD fully comply with the Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board (CLERB).

Additional legislation would allow the Council to order independent investigations into complaints about the excessive use of force by law enforcement or instances that cause physical harm.

He will also present a resolution to the City Council Public Safety Committee on Feb. 7 that states that MPD officers who abuse body cameras are ineligible for promotion within the department for two calendar years.

Councilman Smiley released the following statement in regard to the proposed solution:

I believe that MPD should take a pause on promotional testing to see what improvements can be made to prevent officers from misusing the required body cameras and to establish a consequence for violations. We cannot reward officers who do not abide by the policy, which is why I’m proposing that officers found to have misused body cameras can be prevented from consideration for promotion for two calendar years or promotional periods, whichever is longer. If SCORPION has taught us anything, it’s that this practice isn’t new and it’s time for re-evaluation. We can not perpetuate the idea that violation of body camera policy is acceptable. It is disrespectful to the memory of Tyre Nichols and his family. The city cannot afford such a lapse in judgment again.”


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