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McFadden Says He's Drafting 'Duty To Intervene' Policy

Sheriff Garry McFadden

Mecklenburg County Sheriff Garry McFadden announced that a proposed policy called "Duty to Intervene" is currently being drafted and reviewed in response to the killing of George Floyd on May 25 by a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on Floyd's neck. The policy would require Mecklenburg's deputy sheriffs to act if they see another deputy committing an unlawful act.

McFadden discussed the proposed policy during a live digital panel, "Unmasked: We Can't Breathe" at the Harvey B. Gantt Center on Wednesday night.

U.S. Rep. Alma Adams, photographer Alvin C. Jacobs Jr., and CNN political commentator Bakari Sellers were also on the panel and discussed the current racial climate of America and the lack of accountability of police brutality. The forum discussion was moderated by QCityMetro's founder and publisher, Glenn Burkins.

Protests in Charlotte began on Friday, starting peacefully then turning violent as police fired tear gas and made arrests.

"I don't like it -- never did because it reminds me of the 1960s," McFadden said of the police use of tear gas. "But let me be clear, I am never going to speak against my comrades across the street. I worked with them. I have been with them, and I cannot do it (talk against them). I do not know what they saw. I do not know why they believed that was necessary, but for me, tear gas would be my last resort."

Panelists also discussed nationalizing and standardizing the use of force training and guidelines, police screening, and lowering the standard of federal civil rights against law enforcement.

Adams said that she and the other 54 Congressional Black Caucus members have talked about creating a national database to address citations that officers receive.

"People will say it's just talking, that it's just you that's saying it. We are working as a Caucus to updating civil rights laws and strengthening racial profiling laws," Adams said. "There should be something in the law that says, 'You can't stand by and watch a murder, even if you have on a blue or black suit.'"

Three other former Minnesota police officers were charged Wednesday for being involved in Floyd's death. However, Sellers explained that an arrest is not justice.

"I want the officers arrested, charged, and convicted; you notice I didn't stop at arrested because I don't think an arrest is a justice," Sellers said. "So, save me that applause because, for me, an arrest is not justice, I've seen that it too much in my lifetime, and I'm only 35 years old."

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Dante Miller is a community engagement producer for WFAE and a Report for America (RFA) Corps members. Dante first joined WFAE in 2020 through RFA to work as part of a unique partnership with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Digital Public Library of America. Her work in that project allowed her to use radio, online stories, Wikipedia entries and events to meet the community's news and information needs.