SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Police tactics have recently been under scrutiny in communities across the country and Shelby County is no exception. Now, some commissioners want to discuss changes that can be made.
There are three different plans on the table. One would stop the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office from hiring officers with a history of excessive force. Another would limit the department’s use of chemicals like tear gas, and the third would require the sheriff’s office to get the commission’s approval before it buys any military-grade equipment or weapons.
These proposed changes are response to the deadly encounters between law enforcement and African Americans.
Commissioners said they’ve received numerous complaints about the tactics used by local law enforcement. Those behind the reform effort point to a history racism, oppression and violence against black residents.
Sheriff Floyd Bonner is expected to be at Monday’s commission meeting.
Last week he was inNashville as Governor Bill Lee revealed a list of new recommendations for police reform, including increased training for officers, improved information sharing on officer misconduct and updated use of force policies.
The changes commissioners are calling for would go a step further, creating a local database on officers fired for excessive force and requiring a two-thirds majority vote for any purchase of military-grade weapons.
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