The Commercial Appeal posted “The 901: Eight principles that could reshape Memphis Police” featuring Aktion Kat!
The Memphis Police Department already has policies on the books that are similar to the first five proposals, Director Michael Rallings told council members. But he pushed back against No. 6, which bans officers from firing guns at moving vehicles. Shooting at a moving vehicle might be necessary to save lives, he pointed out. An example that comes to mind: Sgt. Verdell Smith Sr. was struck by the vehicle of a fleeing shooting suspect as he cleared pedestrians off of Beale Street in Downtown Memphis in 2016.Good Wednesday morning from Memphis! Shelby County just saw it’s most novel coronavirus cases yet — and there’s no sign the numbers are slow. But first…
Protests are dwindling but the shock and outrage from the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police is finding a new channel in the cries of “8 can’t wait!”
That’s a reference to eight proposals of Campaign Zero, which emerged in 2015 after Black Lives Matter protests and aims to eliminate police violence in America. Yesterday, a Memphis City Council committee took the first step toward adopting those policies by voting overwhelmingly to recommend their approval, our Daniel Connolly reports.
Memphis already has some of those policies in place, but here they are, as laid out at 8cantwait.org:
- Ban chokeholds and strangleholds. “Allowing officers to choke or strangle civilians results in the unnecessary death or serious injury of civilians. Both chokeholds and all other neck restraints must be banned in all cases.”
- Require deescalation. “Require officers to de-escalate situations, where possible, by communicating with subjects, maintaining distance, and otherwise eliminating the need to use force.”
- Require warning before shooting. “Require officers to give a verbal warning in all situations before using deadly force.”
- Exhaust all alternatives before shooting. “Require officers to exhaust all other alternatives, including non-force and less lethal force options, prior to resorting to deadly force.”
- Duty to intervene. “Require officers to intervene and stop excessive force used by other officers and report these incidents immediately to a supervisor.”
- Ban shooting at moving vehicles. “Ban officers from shooting at moving vehicles in all cases, which is regarded as a particularly dangerous and ineffective tactic. While some departments may they restrict shooting at vehicles to particular situations, these loopholes allow for police to continue killing in situations that are all too common. 62 people were killed by police last year in these situations. This must be categorically banned.”
- Require use-of-force continuum. “Establish a Force Continuum that restricts the most severe types of force to the most extreme situations and creates clear policy restrictions on the use of each police weapon and tactic.”
- Require comprehensive reporting. “Require officers to report each time they use force or threaten to use force against civilians. Comprehensive reporting includes requiring officers to report whenever they point a firearm at someone, in addition to all other types of force.”
The Memphis Police Department already has policies on the books that are similar to the first five proposals, Director Michael Rallings told council members. But he pushed back against No. 6, which bans officers from firing guns at moving vehicles. Shooting at a moving vehicle might be necessary to save lives, he pointed out. An example that comes to mind: Sgt. Verdell Smith Sr. was struck by the vehicle of a fleeing shooting suspect as he cleared pedestrians off of Beale Street in Downtown Memphis in 2016.
Mayor Jim Strickland is in charge of all administrative matters, including police policy, so council members will need his buy-in to see these policies implemented fully.
The Fadeout: Aktion Kat’s ‘Stay Home!’
Memphis band Aktion Kat — fronted by Paul Garner, formerly of the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center — is getting in on the coronavirus-themed home music video aktion. Fading us out today, here’s the band’s latest song, the catchy “Stay Home!”…
Welcome to Music Video Week! Normally, I feature a new music video from a Memphis-area music artist or filmmaker (preferably both) every Monday. In conjunction with the Memphis Flyer’s annual Music Issue, we’re unveiling a weeklong music video blitz. Every day until next Tuesday, I’ll highlight a new or classic video from the Bluff City.
If you’re like us, you’re missing live music right now. Our artists are struggling, and we’re just plain bummed out. The lifeline between musicians and their fans has been connecting through the computer screen, whether by live streamed shows from bedrooms and basements or homespun music videos like this one from Aktion Kat. Paul Garner has been locked up in his apartment so long he wrote a song about it. The video is a masterclass in doing a lot with a little. It’s a tribute to just how much you can get accomplished if you have nothing else on your calendar.