Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland says he doesn’t believe a security list mistake is affecting the community’s trust.
The security list and claims of unlawful surveillance by the police triggered two lawsuits in federal court. One of them sues Mayor Strickland individually.
Mayor Jim Strickland and the City of Memphis are facing lawsuits by people who were placed on a city hall security list. After the reporting on the list, Memphis Police Director Mike Rallings admitted 58 of the 84 people should not have been on it.
“We have acknowledged the errors, and that’s why we’re reviewing our practices and policies but again when we won’t get into the specifics of how” Rallings said on March 1.
Today we asked Mayor Strickland if he thought incorrectly placing 58 people on a security list could affect the community’s trust for police
“I actually don’t; I think people understand. Mistakes were made. No one was kept out of city hall,” Strickland said.
Community member Chris Yard, who attends the University of Memphis, disagreed.
“You can’t just say oh it was a mistake. No, it wasn’t. You have to own up to the consequences. That is what’s wrong with politicians today. They do not own up to the consequences of problems,” Yard said.
The federal lawsuits also claim unlawful surveillance by the police.
“I know generally there is a small part of Memphis that doesn’t trust the police. The overwhelming population of Memphis does,” Strickland said.
“I think the trust is a lot worse and I think as a whole to every community this brings distrust to police because we need to speak our voice,” said Robert O’Ryan, a Memphis native.
The Mayor did say he remained committed to promoting community trust of police. The city is fighting both lawsuits in court and cannot comment on the pending litigation.
Complete Transcript of Interview Of Mayor Strickland on Security List
Maria Hallas, Local I-Team: “Mayor Strickland we heard last week about the 58 person error on the list, on the security list, and I’m wondering in light of that can you see how that error might lead to concern over public trust for police and if so what are your hopes as a result?”
Mayor Jim Strickland: “I know generally there’s a small part of Memphis that doesn’t trust the police. The overwhelming population of Memphis supports the police and wants more police, and we’re dedicated. Director Rallings is dedicated, and we’re all dedicated to try to build trust, build cooperation. Community policing is very important to us, so we are very committed to that.”
Maria Hallas, Local I-Team: “You can see how a 58 person error on the city hall security list might affect community trust.”
Mayor Jim Strickland: “I actually don’t. I think people understand mistakes were made. No one was kept out of City Hall. Everyone had free access to City Hall most people find frankly didn’t know they were on the list, so I think people understand mistakes happen it was just a flat out a mistake.”