Phoenix police meet with Black Lives Matter organization in effort to bridge divide

Posted at 11:24 PM, Jul 18, 2016

The Black Lives Matter Movement joined members of the Phoenix Police Department and other community leaders Monday night in an effort to bridge the divide.

“Clearly, Phoenix police doesn't view Black Lives Matter as a terrorist organization. We view Black Lives Matter as a partner, one that holds us accountable,” Assistant Police Chief Michael Kurtenbach said.

Hundreds of people filled a downtown Phoenix church for the “Move Phoenix Forward" question-and-answer session.

People submitted comment cards read aloud by Rev. Reginald Walton, which helped to hash out concerns over transparency and racism within the police department.

Police took a lot of criticism as the community reminded them that a lot of change still needs to happen.

Ideas for solutions were written down for the panel to review at the end of the meeting.

Police were also able to give facts about change that is happening within the department, such as 40 hours of de-escalation training for every officer, 13 community listening sessions, millions of dollars budgeted for body cameras and the hiring of more officers, with an effort to add more diversity to the department.