Mon. Mar 27th, 2023

Ordinances affecting policing in Memphis approved on second reading

By Bria Bolden

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – Six ordinances aimed at changing the way the Memphis Police Department is trained, operates and is reviewed passed its second hurdle at city council on Tuesday.

“I think the community understands the power of people,” said Councilman JB Smiley Jr. “When people show up. It incentivizes the council to move forward but also does what we’re supposed to do, which is ultimately bend to the will of the people.”

Dozens of Memphians showed up to support the proposed changes, but some want the council to consider digging deeper.

“While this is a policy conversation, this is about people and saving lives,” said one speaker. “So the more lives we can save, the better.”

Councilman Smiley says a potential change that stood out to him involved traffic stops.

“I think one of the most noteworthy things was what can we do to stop pretextual traffic stops related to insurance and tags,” said Councilman Smiley. “I think the council will consider that going forward, particularly as the third reading comes.”

Smiley also said the council took more of a listening role on Tuesday as they prepare to consider suggestions ahead of the third and final vote for this set of ordinances.

“I need you to understand that Tyre, my son, they’re real people,” said one speaker. “They’re not statistics and we’re real mothers and we cry real tears.”

Council will vote for a third and final time and potentially make any changes to the ordinances at their first meeting in March.

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