Shelby County Commissioners are talking with law enforcement about police shootings and the involvement of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
It started a few weeks ago when Martavious Banks was shot by Memphis Police.
Not long after the shooting, District Attorney Amy Weirich called-in the T-B-I to investigate, even though Banks wasn’t killed.
Some on the commission say they want the TBI here not just when police kill somebody, but also when someone is critically hurt.
According to Chairman Van Turner, “We think that perhaps we’re going to where we hopefully look at something that protects these officers, as well as those persons that may or may not be involved in any of the incidents.”
Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings says critics aren’t dealing with facts.
He realizes there is a lot of emotion involved in this issue, but he says the numbers are what he stands by.
“The truth of officer-involved shootings,” he says, “… is they have decreased in Memphis. If you compared 2011 through 2017, there’s been a 73% reduction in officer-involved shootings.”
There have been protests, and anger, and demands that some action be taken.
Commissioner Tami Sawyer, who has not been a shrinking violet in her first weeks on County Commission, says those numbers are nice, but the issue is a lot more complex.
“It’s great some of these numbers have been reduced,” she says, “… but there’s a huge community concern and outcry about the relationship between police officers and civilians and the use of force.”
There will be more discussion about this. Frankly, what they talked about Wednesday really doesn’t change police procedure at all. It just puts it down on paper.