City councilman addresses public outcry against racism, police brutality

JACKSON, Tenn. — Over the past month, hundreds of residents have taken to the streets to protest against racism and police brutality.

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A city leader is speaking up on what steps can now be taken within the city.

“People are tired, people are frustrated, and they’ve got the attention of all our leaders and we have to do something, make something happen,” said Jackson City Councilman Johnny Dodd.

Dodd said communities are pleading for change in an effort to prevent more deaths like those of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. He said that change starts with local leaders.

“My focus is to unite people, but you got to make sure you’re taking a stand. Let them know the elected officials are hearing their cry, cause people are crying out, people need help, and they’re looking at us for direction,” Dodd said.

He said protests and marches helped gain attention on issues like racism and police brutality, but now it’s time to create a plan of action.

“Present it to our city leaders, present it to our county leaders, present it to our police department, and we sit down and come up with a plan that we can all be happy with,” Dodd said.

He said part of that plan is reforming law enforcement.

“We want to restructure our police department and look and see what kind of issues we are having in our police department and work with our police department so we can build a better relationship with our community,” Dodd said.

Dodd said the leadership of the Jackson Police Department is taking steps in the right direction.

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“We have a first class police department. We have a great police chief, Chief Wiser. He’s doing real good at building relationships with our community,” Dodd said.

Relationships that Dodd hopes will be permanent in the Hub City.

“Let’s fix the problem. Let’s not put a band-aid on it,” Dodd said.

Dodd suggests the city create a crisis team of equipped professionals that can assist officers on intense calls, especially those that deal with domestic violence and people who are mentally ill.

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