MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis City Council voted Tuesday night to table one ordinance indefinitely and pass another that will change policing in the city.

More than 100 people stormed out of Tuesday night’s meeting after several members of the public were banned for using offensive language at previous meetings. That did not silence their call for change after the death of Tyre Nichols and a subsequent push to reform policing in the city.

The disorder perhaps took away from the reason so many people came to the meeting in the first place to speak out about two agenda items. 

The first ordinance nicknamed the Tyre Nichols Justice in Policing Act was unanimously tabled indefinitely after members of the public repeatedly denounced it out of fear for its enforceability. 

Councilman JB Smiley said the decision comes after failing to reach an agreement on the right wording to accurately reflect the will of the people. 

“As of right now, I don’t think we could appropriately capture the will of each constituency group and also capture the intent of the council,” Smiley said.

Instead, the council agreed to pass several other ordinances to reform policing in the city, bringing forth a positive reaction from members of the public who were pursuing change.

The second ordinance passed unanimously involves clarifying appropriate methods of traffic enforcement. 

According to the ordinance, police will not be able to pull people over for secondary violations, such as overdue registration, broken lights, or loosely secured bumpers. However, if someone poses a danger to the public, they can be pulled over and subsequently cited for a secondary offense.

Some of the progress may have been overshadowed by the pandemonium we saw at the end, but that doesn’t mean the passage of these ordinances wasn’t perceived as a victory for many in the city.