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'These are pretty small asks,'| The clock is ticking for new MPD Chief CJ Davis to make a move on police reform, community says

DeCarcerate Memphis is giving MPD CJ Davis 100 days to meet 10 demands related to police reform. It's day 35 and they are unsure if they will be met.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Activists with Decarcerate Memphis are finally hearing from Memphis Police Chief C.J. Davis after they said they had been trying to set up a meeting with CJ Davis for more than a month.

It wasn't until after Local 24 News Brittni Clemons reached out to MPD Tuesday multiple times, the group heard back. But even with the meeting set, some people aren't sure these changes will happen. 

DeCarcerate Memphis is a grassroots coalition with about 40 committee members and has more than 300 supports. The group is focused on criminal justice reform. When Davis became MPD chief in June, they sent an open letter demanding 10 things they want to see done before she reaches 100 days in her new role. 

Even with a meeting set for August, Chelsea Glass, Decarcerate Memphis organizer isn't too sure if these changes will happen.

“Changing the culture of policing here and not just consistently passing the buck on people here in the community by saying, "you guys have to call us and you guys have to get more involved," Glass said. 

While it's not the first time for someone or a group to demand actions from MPD, this group remaining persistent. Decarcerate Memphis said the clock is ticking for Davis. She has a little less than 70 days to meet the communities demands. The list of items includes ending costs associated with getting body camera footage and records, mandatory crisis intervention training for all MPD officers, deprioritizing citations, arrests for possession of less than an ounce of weed, and the list goes on. 

Welcome to Memphis Chief Davis. The clock starts now on your first 100 days.

Posted by Decarcerate Memphis on Monday, June 14, 2021

"They don't seem unreasonable either, these are pretty small asks," she said.

Glass said 100 days is plenty of time to establish policies and practices that support the recommendations given. She said this will determine what Davis' leadership with MPD will look like. 

" I am hoping that her experiences in other places will bring some boldness that we haven't seen before in making the changes and adjustments that are really really necessary for adequate and effective reform," she said. 

Glass said these demands aren't new, it's what concerned citizens, community activists, and other organizations have been asking for the past 10 years.

“Well, I think it is important to have people involved in the conversations who are most deeply impacted by the work that she is doing and the work other police officers are responsible for. I mean these are people's lives that we are talking about here." 

The coalition members will be meeting with Davis in August to discuss their concerns and plan of action.

"I think there is still hope and a possibility for really good things," she said. Again, she definitely has the power to make the changes and make decisions about what's happening."

MPD told Local 24 News Reporter Brittni Clemons Chief Davis wasn't available for an interview Monday and declined to give us a statement about her thoughts, her progress on police reform, and her delayed response to Decarcerate Memphis. According to the letter sent by Decarcerate Memphis, they ask Chief Davis to have the 10 recommendations fulfilled by September 24. 

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