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Black Lives Matter meets with Phoenix police, elected officials

KTAR photo by Corbin Carson

Several hundred showed up to a Black Lives Matter community meeting with Phoenix police, Mayor Greg Stanton along with several other state and city leaders.

For over two hours, Rev. Reginald Walton hosted questions from the community about race at the Phillips Memorial CME Church.

“Clearly the Phoenix Police Department does not view Black Lives Matter as a terrorist organization,” said Phoenix Police Assistant Chief Michael Kurtenbach in response to the question ‘What can we do to facilitate discourse when some, including law enforcement, deem Black Lives Matter a terrorist organization?’

“We view Black Lives Matter as a partner, one that holds us accountable,” Kurtenbach said.

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Other questions included: What constitutes resisting arrest? Do you support the end of quota systems for for-profit policing? What are you going to do to address institutional racism?

Answers to those were about de-escalation, the complaint process, fines on those unable to pay and that police are just a piece of a much larger race issue that affects us all.

The meeting also talked about breaking the code of silence on both sides; cops not snitching on bad cops, and the black community not snitching on criminals.

It ended with several solutions being presented and a call to action for all to get involved in continuing the dialogue, but more importantly, instituting reform.

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