PONTIAC, Mich. – The protestors are demanding systematic change in terms of police brutality and many law enforcement officers agree.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced reform and bills in Lansing for change, but Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said he’s been pushing for these changes for nearly a decade.
The demands for systematic change in the form of protests were loud in Pontiac at the Oakland County government buildings Thursday.
The demands for accountability is already shared with Bouchard. About six years ago, Bouchard wrote a plan for systemic change.
His plan included better hiring and background checks for those trying to be police officers and that a hiring police agency should be able to look at social media.
“You have to have the ability to look deeply into somebody’s social media," Bouchard said. "Because if they’re spouting racist things, that’s a ticking time bomb.”
His plan suggested people go into the applicant’s neighborhood and ask around to find out what kind of person they are.
During a polygraph test, the applicant would be asked their intentions on being a police officer.
Bouchard also said accountability and discipline are problems -- citing an issue in his own department, where a deputy was fired for abuse of a woman prisoner
“You can’t change their heart if they’re a racist,” Bouchard said. “We can’t make them act differently if that’s their true character.”
Bouchard said most of the changes he’s suggested have not happened because there hasn’t been enough support from lawmakers in Lansing or DC.
With Whitmer pushing for reform, Bouchard is hoping this time change will actually happen.