At a discussion in Dallas on police reform, U.S. Senator John Cornyn said it's important for police departments to be transparent and be held accountable, while working to build trust with communities.
"We don’t have enough conversations with each other these days and we certainly don't do enough — and I include myself in this — do enough listening," Cornyn said. "And we still have a lot to do."
After weeks of protests in North Texas and across the country focused on police brutality and racial inequality, the senator gathered with community leaders and local law enforcement for a discussion about police reform.
Some guests that attended the roundtable, included city Mayor Eric Johnson, Dallas Police Chief Reneé Hall and Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot. Of the 14 community leaders seated at the table, only some wore masks.
The guests sat about three feet apart and shared microphones. Next to each seat were water and hand sanitizer. Before the meeting, some glanced out the window to see the red, black and green "Black Lives Matter" mural, which was painted on Monday and desgined by creative JD Moore.
Cornyn started his remarks saying he talked with the family of George Floyd, the black man who died at the hands of the police in Minneapolis. He says the family wants “Texas-sized justice,” which he is set to do.
At the event Cornyn said it may be time to come up with a national police registry of "bad police officers."
"Where bad officers who've committed excessive use of force in one police department can’t just go to another one without them knowing about it end up committing acts like we saw committed against Mr. Floyd," he said.
During the roundtable, Dallas Police Chief Reneé Hall said there are broken relationships between her department and the community. She proposed a solution to hold officers accountable.
“We have to acknowledge that we need early warning systems in our police department to ensure that we are able to look at the issues that may be prevalent right away,” she said.
Hall added that these warning systems would notify supervisors immediately — allowing department leaders to address the problem.
Cornyn listened for more than an hour to law enforcement, faith, community and civil rights leaders. They were invited to help Cornyn take ideas back to the nation’s capital. He's been working to implement a National Criminal Justice Commission that would take recommendations from local governments.
Conryn concluded the meeting by saying that federal funding could be earmarked to train officers in best practices and that this will be one of many meeting he plans to have with local community leaders.
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