Activists continue discussion on police reform

CHARLOTTE — Kenny Robinson, the executive director of Freedom Fighting Missionaries, said he wanted to have a community dialogue about solutions to honor the life of Tyre Nichols.

“We are trying to find other ways and other outlets to express our trauma, hurt and pain,” Robinson said.

Memphis police announced Monday that two more officers were relieved of duty.

They say the investigation does not mean the officers were fired or charged.

Five former officers were charged with Nichols’ murder.

The Memphis Fire Department also fired two EMTs and a lieutenant who responded to the violent encounter.

Deputies with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office were part of the conversation Monday with Robinson.

In October, Sheriff Gary McFadden changed a policy ending regulatory stops, which means deputies no longer were to pull drivers over for violations, such as a burned-out taillight, expired tags, or having no insurance.

Data shows those minor violations disproportionately affect communities of color.

“Unfortunately, for us, these traffic stops can end in death,” Robinson said. “It’s happening too many times across the country.”

“Unfortunately, for us, these traffic stops can end in death,” Robinson said. “It’s happening too many times across the country.”

Robinson commended McFadden for listening to activists and implementing the change. He’s calling on other agencies to do the same.

Nichols’ death has also reignited calls for officers to intervene when a fellow officer has gone too far.

Deputies highlighted a new training program at the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, which coaches law enforcement officers on how to step in.

“I think this training creates the conversation and creates the environment for us to be able to hold each other accountable,” said a deputy involved in Monday’s discussion.

In October, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department released a statement in response to the sheriff’s change on regulatory stops.

CMPD said it was not considering changing its policy on regulatory stops.

Equipment and regulatory stops accounted for more than 40% of CMPD patrol stops last year.

CMPD says those stops are a crucial investigative tool.

Freedom Fighting Missionaries is a nonprofit that works with formerly incarcerated people.

VIDEO: Biden to sign police reform executive order on second anniversary of George Floyd’s death