North Carolina Police Chiefs Association releases PSA on combating racism and excessive force

Tuesday, June 16, 2020
NC Police Chiefs Association release PSA on improving policing
NC Police Chiefs Association release PSA on improving policing.

Police chiefs in North Carolina said their Public Service Announcement on social media Tuesday is a chance to remind their communities that they, too, are fighting against a police culture of racism and brutality.

"We will never condone the behavior of law enforcement who use unnecessary force," Roxboro Police Chief David Hess said during the PSA.

The tone of the video is serious and deliberate.

That was exactly how Chief Hess said he wanted it. Hess is president of the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police.

He released the video Tuesday on social media.

The video explains how the association has fought through the years for more police accountability and the use of eight professional policing standards -- a nationwide push called "8 Can't Wait."

Some of them include:

  • A ban on chokeholds and strangleholds;
  • Exhaust all alternatives before shooting;
  • A warning before shooting;
  • A required duty to intervene when excessive force is used;
  • And a policy that requires all force to be recorded.

ABC11 asked Hess whether those changes are taking place in all cities and towns with law enforcement agencies.

"I think it's important for the communities to understand that they have tremendous input into how their department functions, so each agency is independent of itself, but the Chiefs of Police Association provides best practices," Hess said.

Hess said those best practices were first implemented after a 2015-2016 Obama-era task force report on 21st-century policing.

But in 2020, there are growing calls from demonstrators to defund police, stripping them of some money, and putting it into community.

ABC11 asked Hess how the police chiefs association feels about that.

"Each community is unique, so those who want to influence change in their community, your police chief is ready to sit down at the table and have those conversations," Hess said. "But everyone at the table will have to be willing to accept certain changes and not accept other changes."

Hess said police chiefs are encouraging people to schedule meetings with law enforcement to learn more about their policies and see whether they are being implemented effectively in their communities.