Emancipate NC’s Kerwin Pittman was featured in a televised debate on police reform at Wake Technical Community College last week. He was joined by Senator Amy Scott Galey (R, Alamance), Senator Mejtaba Mohammed (D, Mecklenburg), and Sheriff Clarence F. Birkhead (Durham).
Here are excerpts from the debate:
Kerwin Pittman: Police reform is definitely needed right now. Since the brutal murder of George Floyd, there has been a spotlight on this. Reform is reimagining community safety so that the community has a say. Those who are closest to the pain should be closest to the power.
Senator Mohammed: The community wants transparency and cooperation with law enforcement. They want police accountability and trust.
Senator Galey: It’s extremely important to acknowledge the efforts in local governments to adapt and refresh with the times, including with handling mental health issues.
Sheriff Birkhead: The Sheriff is a servant leader. We’ve had these conversations at the N.C. Sheriffs’ Association and building strong relationships with the community is exactly what sheriffs do.