NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Members of the Minority Caucus of Nashville are asking Mayor John Cooper to take action in five areas in order to "improve relations between the police and the African American community."
The caucus is made up of 11 people from the African American, Hispanic and Muslim communities.
In a press release Monday, they quoted Mayor Cooper who said in response to the George Floyd riots, “This is an especially critical time for all of us, as Metro’s leaders, to show up and listen to black voices and people of color across Davidson County as they speak out against the senseless killing of George Floyd and the deep-seated issues of racial injustice in our country.”
Caucus members say they submitted a letter to the mayor earlier in this term. In it, they identified the following five actions that they say are critical to improving relations between the police and the African American community.
- Support of the Community Oversight Board and the accountability of MNPD.
- Ensure that a fair share of the federal funds for COVID-19 go directly into the black community.
- Designate funding for the purchase and full implementation of body cameras.
- Ensure that the recommendations from the Equal Business Opportunity legislation are implemented and more economic equity is seen in Metro contracts for black businesses.
- Hire a Chief Diversity Officer
Metro Minority Caucus Chair and Councilmember Sharon Hunt said, “The Minority Caucus has expressed the importance of hiring a Chief Diversity Officer in the past. To date, this position has NOT been filled. This position is essential to the work of our city, and these are tangible steps that can be taken to ensure you are listening to and addressing the needs of the black community. We are not ‘good to go.’ Respectfully, I ask that you focus more on building a relationship with the Minority Caucus and work with us to reduce disparities and increase equity for the black community in Nashville."
The caucus asked Nashvillians to send a letter of support in their message, asking the Mayor to support these five critical asks to improve relations between the African American community and the police.