Police Reform: Topic that needs to be addressed

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Police reform has long been a topic this country has needed to address, but does reform work? In light of Tyre Nichols’ murder, many are asking that question again. The Memphis police officers were part of a group assigned to “clean up crime” in the area. According to reports, they received de-escalation training. Despite the training and knowing they were wearing body cams, they still allegedly beat Nichols to death, shown in a shocking video that was seen worldwide.

The new president of the AZ Black Law Enforcement Employees (ABLE), Sgt. Latasha Hampton and Former AZ State Rep. Reginald Bolding joined Ted to discuss the recent tragedy and the need for police reform.

“It’s not only just the lack of training, but the lack of respect, especially when I look at Tyre Nichols’ case,” said Hampton. “We have to have some type of police reform. Now how that looks, can be very different, but we need better training for our officers, we need money to be able to pay for that training for the officers. We need them to be able to be held accountable; we need leadership that holds people accountable.”

Hampton says that “bad behavior” must be stopped in the beginning. If it is not, it will continue until it reaches an out-of-control place. She says that often small incidents, which are easier to examine, are not always addressed. This allows issues to continue.

Bolding said he chose not to watch the body camera or the dome camera footage from the tragedy in Memphis. He says he actively chose this to protect his own mental health in a phenomenon called linked fate syndrome.

“There is a doctor by the name of Jason Nichols who talked about Black folks having PTSD from watching these images over and over again,” said Bolding. “You can see yourself and your loved ones in the eyes of those who are being taken.”

Bolding says that the conversation around police reform has become a partisan one. He does not think it should be this way.

“The conversation that the term means anti- and reforming police does not mean you’re anti-police,” said Bolding. “It shouldn’t be a partisan conversation.”

Reginald Bolding/Former Legislator and Sgt. Latasha Hamptom/President of AZ Black Law Enforcement Employees

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