State Rep. Napoleon Bracy Jr. and Chief Walter Knight announced Friday a series of reform initiatives the Prichard Police Department will be undertaking to address concerns about police brutality.
The “solution-based” initiatives were developed in coordination with the Alabama Youth Legislative Council over the past several weeks.
Today, members joined Bracy in presenting Knight with a list of suggestions including mandatory use of body cameras, community-based policing, a public database for police misconduct, the creation of an advisory board and police training on systemic racism.
According to Bracy, Knight has agreed to implement community-based policing and training on systemic racism. He said the council plans to continue working to see the PPD implement other reform efforts.
“We are hopeful that these initiatives will spark a positive change in our community. I was intentional about starting with the [PPD] given the ethnic demographic of the city being predominantly African- American, which is the very group impacted by police brutality and racial injustice at the most alarming rates,” Bracy said. “I wanted to ensure that we created initiatives that would ensure a safer community for our citizens while bridging the gap between local law enforcement and the community. Thankfully, Chief Knight has been more than willing to work with us to see that this goal is accomplished.”
Vice president Mya Nobles said the idea behind these reform efforts started with members of the council following the national conversations about police brutality and race stemming from the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers on May 31.
“When we created this idea to meet with Chief Knight, we really just wanted to see a change in our community,” Nobels said. “Our main goal is to make sure that we did our part to prevent police brutality in Mobile County.”
In a statement, Knight said he was excited to work with a group of “eager and intelligent young adults who want to see change,” adding he was willing to help them “make that change” in Prichard.
According to Bracy, the committee plans to continue to meet to further implement initiatives related to the prevention of police brutality and transparency within the police departments in Mobile County.
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