Knoxville City Council votes to review policies for stopping racist and sexist practices within city government

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — City Council voted Tuesday night to allow Mayor Indya Kincannon, her staff, and appropriate departments to revisit existing policies for handling racist and sexist behavior within city government after discussion on just how hard a line should be drawn.

Councilwoman Amelia Parker proposed a resolution to adopt a zero tolerance policy.

“Something has to change. there has to be some type of mechanism in place that is gonna be very clear, other than words written on a piece of paper that we don’t tolerate certain behaviors and cultures, and we’ve not seen that,” Vice Mayor Gwen McKenzie said during the meeting.

Some expressed that they did not agree with the “zero tolerance” language.

Councilwoman Lynne Fugate proposed a substitute resolution instead, that took out “zero tolerance” and the requirement that policies be codified. The resolution passed unanimously.

The mayor, her staff and appropriate city departments now have 120 days to review the current policies then give any recommendations to strengthen them if needed. This comes after allegations of racism within the Knoxville Police Department.

“We have a different starting place from the conversation, but I am happy that a conversation will happen in 120 days,” Councilwoman Parker said.

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