Mayor Kincannon announces review of Knoxville Police use of force policies

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Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon issues statement on George Floyd’s death and her committment to peace and justice. (City of Knoxville)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Mayor Indya Kincannon said she is beginning a review of Knoxville Police use of force policies.

The announcement came Thursday during Kincannon’s Facebook Live question-and-answer video and was made in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

“As I have said, I am appalled by the police brutality in Minneapolis that led to the death of George Floyd,” Kincannon said. “The events of the last week magnify the need for difficult discussions and the need for change and I am listening.”

Going on to say she has a “personal and professional role to play,” Kincannon said she and KPD Chief Eve Thomas have been in talks about what the review will look like.

The review will follow the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance Commit to Action pledge. The pledge calls on mayors to:

  • REVIEW your police use of force policies.
  • ENGAGE your communities by including a diverse range of input, experiences, and stories in your review.
  • REPORT the findings of your review to your community and seek feedback.
  • REFORM your community’s police use of force policies.

“I understand now more than ever it is not OK just to stand up to justice inequity,” Kincannon said. “We must all be actively anti-racists.”

My Brother’s Keeper is public-private partnership of the federal government initiated in 2014 with the sponsorship of the White House, the Department of Education and the National Convening Council as a cross-sector national call to action focused on building safe and supportive communities for boys and young men of color where they feel valued and have clear pathways to opportunity.

Kincannon also addressed the delayed roll out of body cameras among the KPD.

“The Department and its officers want body-worn cameras as much if not more than the community does,” she said.

Kincannon said the hope is to bring the body camera contract up for approval with City Council in July as the new fiscal year starts.

Body-worn cameras or bodycams, however, will not be seen on officers until later in the year once the bidding process and contract are in hand.

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