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Phoenix’s Jeri Williams named to new group for police reform, racial justice

In this June 18, 2019, file photo, Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams addresses the audience at a community meeting in Phoenix. Williams joined protesters in triple-digit weather in Phoenix, Friday, June 5, 2020, telling them she is listening and will continue to work with them. She joined a march from City Hall to the police department's headquarters. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams will be included on the new Police Reform and Racial Justice Working Group, the U.S. Conference of Mayors announced on Monday.

Its purpose is to “produce, advance and enact meaningful reforms to address police violence and patterns of racial discrimination,” the working group said in a press release.

“It’s an honor to have Phoenix represented on this committee,” Williams said on Twitter.

“I am committed to finding solutions to strengthen police and community relations. We will move forward as a country as we move forward in each of our communities.”

The group is also made up of the mayors of Chicago, Cincinnati and Tampa, as well as the police chiefs of Baltimore and Columbia.

Other experts in the field will be assisting with the goal of “releasing actionable recommendations in the coming weeks,” all of which were selected by Barnett.

“The nation’s mayors are committed to dismantling the systemic racism that exists in our country,” USCM President and mayor of Rochester Hills, Mich., Bryan K. Barnett said in the release. “Black Americans have been denied the promise of equality and justice in this country for too long, and that must end now.

“The recent killings of innocent black people have highlighted once again that there is much work to do with revising and improving the policies and practices of our police departments. We must do better, and we must start this work immediately.”

Protests in response to the death of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement have been seen locally, nationally and globally.

In Arizona, protests have been taking place for nearly two straight weeks now.

Williams marched with protesters in downtown Phoenix on Friday and met with religious leaders outside of Phoenix police headquarters on Monday evening.

“We hear you,” Williams said to protesters on Friday.

“You have forced us to hear you by your constant and incessant demonstration and wanting something different. We hear you.”

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