City announces policy changes for MPD as activists continue to call for police reform

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Changes are coming to the Memphis Police Department after calls for reform.

The killing of George Floyd sparked protests across the country. Police reform has taken center stage while advocates rally for change. Police brutality is at the forefront, forcing the City of Memphis to take a close look at current policies and make changes.

“I understand the frustrations our citizens are feeling as we reform law enforcement nationwide,” said Memphis Police Department Director Mike Rallings.

For up-to-the-minute updates and BREAKING ALERTS as the protests continue across our area, download the FOX13 News app. You can also follow FOX13 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Protesters’ cries for the end of racial injustice and police brutality finally has momentum. Thursday, the City of Memphis announced a long list of policy changes. At the top of that list -- updating practices to reflect the 8 Can’t Wait initiative.

“8 Can’t Wait, that conversation started on the bridge in 2016 protests. Not as excited as we would have been in 2016, but definitely excited it’s happening now,” activist Devante Hill told FOX13.

8 Can’t Wait is a campaign to bring immediate change to police departments. The list includes banning chokeholds, offering a warning before shooting, and banning shooting at moving vehicles.

Hill said it's a step in the right direction.

“It’s important to change policy, change the law that way those systemic injustices we will start to see minimize,” he said.

The City also made improvements to the Civilian Law Enforcement Review Board or CLERB.

“Our current CLERB board can ask our Memphis City Council to use the city council subpoena power,” Mayor Strickland said.

Civil rights attorney and activists question MPD’s use of excessive force

Hill said the police department is heading in the right direction. And he looks forward to what the future holds.

“I commend the mayors, the police director, the sheriff on their desire at least to listen to hear to be a part of change and solutions,” said Hill.

During the meeting the city also announced it has begun talking with the Memphis Police Association to look for ways to strengthen language to hold officers accountable for the use of excessive force.