GARY, Ind. (AP) - Elected Gary officials are planning to reexamine how the city’s police department operates after George Floyd’s death energized a movement and pushed for nationwide calls for reform.
Mayor Jerome Prince pledged on Monday to sign an executive order this week establishing a police reform commission that will propose meaningful changes to the city’s police department.
On Sunday, hundreds of people rallied at Gary City Hall to call for an end to systemic racism, police violence, police brutality, injustice, inequality and discrimination, according to the Northwest Indiana Times.
“This administration was the first administration to denounce the killing, and we called it a killing, of George Floyd,” Prince said at the event.
“We denounced all brutal activity by all police officers across the country, particularly in the state of Indiana, and absolutely in the city of Gary,” he said.
The police reform commission will be made up of civic and business leaders, community activists, faith leaders and community organizations.
Part of the commission’s work will include investigations of what, if any, policing responsibilities can be and should be shared or shifted to other departments, Prince said.
Prince declined to explicitly ally himself with any “defund the police” advocates because he said the notion of defuding the police “covers a wide spectrum of ideas.”
Other Gary protests following Floyd’s death have demanded more information about last summer’s fatal shooting of 25-year-old Rashad Cunningham by a city police officer, who was responding to a report of shots fired.
The Lake County prosecutor’s office has not yet determined whether that shooting was justified.
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