Knoxville’s Police Advisory and Review Committee holds first in-person meeting since 2020

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Thursday, Knoxville’s Police Advisory and Review Committee (PARC) held its first in-person meeting since last year. PARC – for short – is responsible for looking at internal affairs cases within the Knoxville Police Department and addressing concerns and questions related to those cases.

“I think having the opportunity for KPD to hear directly from the committee members what our viewpoints are, what the staff viewpoints are what the community viewpoints are is critical,” said PARC executive director, LaKenya Middlebrook.

Some of the cases reviewed involved complaints from KPD officers of a hostile work environment, as well as cases that involved inappropriate content on personal social media, like the investigation of KPD officers who were pictured in blackface on social media.

The committee also talked about a July 2020 officer-involved shooting, and the officer’s use of force in that case.

The community was also given the chance to speak. Some expressed disappointment and frustration with what they perceive to be a lack of accountability for officers who misbehave.

Members of PARC say they understand true accountability takes time, but they know the work they do is the first step toward change.

“I think it’ll be much more than just tonight,” said PARC member Jered Croom. “I do hope that the integrity of the officers coming aboard that the new classes, the older officers who realize that what was can never be again, and that we are a changing community, we are becoming a more dynamic and integrated community with people from all over the world here in Knoxville. So we have to embrace a more open policing.”

The next meeting is Oct. 28. The location will be announced at a later date. The meetings are always open to the public.

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