CSRA Black Lives Matter group wants to see these local changes
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Protesters are marching against systemic racism, and they say addressing that means changing entire systems.
CSRA Black Lives Matter explained what that would look like for our local police agencies.
“It’s not us trying to take over them or how they do things. I think it shapes we’re trying to all work together," said Jamie Tutson, the founder of CSRA Black Lives Matter
They’re marching for new policies and procedures on policing, and the local Black Lives Matter group says they’re walking the distance until the path for change is not as far.
“I am driving in the middle of the night and trying to come home from college, and I get pulled over because my lights don’t work. I was terrified, and I don’t want that to be the fear that my children have to grow up with."
A recent national poll reflected that fear as nearly 80 percent of black families saying they’ve warned their children to be careful of dealing with police.
Black Lives Matter requests this from CSRA police agencies:
• Annual reports of use-of-force cases released to the community.
• Increased racial bias training.
• Creation of a citizen's complaint board.
“Don’t think it’s far-fetched necessarily," Tutson said. "I just think it’s a big change because it’s not things that are done here”
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office says its community services engage similar tools already.
“We haven’t been meeting since COVID, but we normally meet once a month. They review our policies," Chief Deputy Patrick Clayton said.
The members do have to be appointed by commission, so Tutson argues the advisory council should go beyond formal appointments.
“I just think as the citizens it wouldn’t hurt to see what they are doing, it wouldn’t hurt to see what their curriculum looks like, and we would be reassured in knowing that they are being trained properly," Tutson said.
With more protests and more police dialogue, they’re looking to a shift in policing systems and transparency of the handling of cases, improved racial relations, and more safe spaces.
“These past few days of protesting have been a great start to that," Tutson said. "We need them to be our allies, and I think Augusta is showing greatly that they are”
Another item on the list of requests is a hate crime bill for Georgia.
CSRA Black Lives Matter says the group will be be using its protesting efforts for that as the state Senate reconvenes next week. Senate agendas will review legislation, including the proposed hate-crimes bill.