Norfolk leaders, mayor and city manager respond to sit-in outside City Hall demanding police records

Posted at 2:31 PM, Jun 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-01 08:44:07-04

NORFOLK, Va. - Norfolk Mayor Kenny Alexander addressedthe sit-in that is happening at City Hall.

The group of local activists are demanding the Norfolk Police Department to release its "use-of-force" reports.

They said they will occupy the area until they see what is going on.

Mayor Alexander said city council does have power to have a look at the reports but said he wants to review legislation that Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone has mentioned to see the best way to move forward.

He wants the department to release the reports so the city can have a better idea of what's going on. Mayor Alexander said "it may not be all bad," but that we need to have the data so training and policy can be modified. He added, "I'm all for civic engagement and transparency."

Norfolk City Manager Chip Filer is in the process of reviewing the reports.

"Compile these reports and then start discussing with experts in the field what would constitute an effective dashboard the the public could see.”

He adds, "We recognize that the current data in the report is pretty thin and we can do a better job of that, and we are going to figure out what that is.”

Mayor Alexander said he wants police to release the reports but also wants to protect the names of innocent people/victims. He does not want to jeopardize any open investigations.

Protesters say they are glad they city is listening.

“Seeing the city manager actually talking to us as citizens and saying, 'Hey this is what we are doing,' I feel like is a step in the fight decision," said one of the organizers, Raymond Brothers.

The city will continue to provide security for the protesters outside, and Mayor Alexander welcomes them.

Other police departments across Hampton Roads have also been responding to calls for use-of-force reports to be released to the public. You can see their statements here.

Mayor Alexander will be talking with city council before acting on this matter at their next meeting on July 14.

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