Thursday, December 1, 2016

Memphis Beats the Clock on Police Reform as Citizens Talk, DOJ Listens

One answer to the question, Who Will Watch the Watchers? is the Department of Justice.

But, did Memphis get in just under the wire on the U.S. Department of Justice’s review of the city’s policing practices?
DOJ's George Fachner: Just Listening
Click Photo to See Video from Listening Session
Just 13 days before the Presidential election, the city and the DOJ’s division of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) announced a collaborative and voluntary review and reform of police practices in Memphis. 

DOJ attorneys and career staff, especially in the Civil Rights division, are polishing their resumes in anticipation of a Trump administration that would neuter investigations into police abuses, hate crimes and more.  

Meanwhile, the show must go on, and five COPS staffers from Washington and three contractors who are part of the review team were in Memphis this week during the "assessment" phase of their project. The DOJ folks seem serious and methodical, taking things in and being circumspect in comments other than to explain their plan and process.  

A good sign is that they sought the locals' advice on where to eat and found their way to Memphis BBQ.  They were guarded in their comments about everything else, so we won't reveal too much here, except to say they reported BBQ was Central to their culinary experience, and it seemed BBQ was the One and Only thing they enjoyed most.  

Rules for the Rules Enforcers: MPD Policy and Procedures

Click to see MPD Policy & Procedures
The American Dialect Society annually designates a “Word of the Year.”  In 2015 the society picked “they,” when used as a singular, genderless pronoun.   For 2014 the society chose #blacklivesmatter, which is a hashtag, but close enough.

How did they miss “transparency?”