WAYNE COUNTY, Mich. – Tuesday afternoon, there was an open dialogue discussion between several city leaders as well as police officers and the minorities that live in their communities.
The bottom line is racism should have no place in the police departments.
“We will not tolerate biased based policing and we will not tolerate excessive force. Those are not mistakes. Those are bad people that should not be police officers,” said Westland Police Chief Jeff Jedrusik.
Dozens looked on in a socially distant crowd as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), city leaders, and police officers from the 18 communities making up the Conference of Western Wayne discussed what happened to George Floyd.
“None of them thought that what happened to George Floyd was right or justified. We know people are angry. We know that old wounds have been opened,” said Belleville mayor Kerreen Conley
One in the crowd of officers was Chief Ronald Haddad of the Dearborn police department.
“We gotta ensure that every single American is treated absolutely the same with the quality and equity during police encounters,” said Chief Haddad.
Dearborn’s police department along with over a dozen others in the Western Wayne conference that will be undergoing special training to make sure there is no bias when it comes to making an arrest.
“We can always train higher and what’s been successful in some departments, we’re gonna share it with other departments and vice versa,” Haddad said.
The ultimate goal is to make sure there’s a clear understanding that everyone should be treated the same by law enforcement.
“There’s a lot of emotion. There’s hurt, there’s anger and there’s distrust by members of the community towards law enforcement. But know this, there’s also hurt, anger and disgust by law enforcement officers towards the officers involved," Jedrusik said.
“We do have good officers here in the city of Westland and everyone else. But the focus is not on the good officers. We’re talking about the bad officers,” said Westland City Councilwoman, Tasha Green.