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Mayor’s statement on the Chief White’s decision in the Taylor case

Wednesday June 4, 2003

Chief White called me yesterday to inform me of his decisions. I have complete confidence in the Chief and I trust his judgment.

Chief White and I inherited this tragic case. It’s not the way any of us wanted to start our first five months on the job. We have worked to bring changes that will decrease the likelihood of future tragedies like this.

He has revised and strengthened the use of force policies, including requiring all officers to carry non-lethal weapons while on duty, and increased training in dealing with mentally ill people.

We have given greater voice to citizens by creating the Citizens Commission on Police Accountability to review policies and procedures in police shooting cases. We’ve created a new Police Merit Board to review the Chief’s actions in disciplinary cases. And we’ve created a Citizens Advocate to assist people in filing complaints against police officers.

Everyone in this community wishes this tragedy had not happened.

There are no winners in this case. The officers will have to live with the consequences of their actions for the rest of their lives. The Taylor family has suffered an irreplaceable loss. And our community has been torn and troubled by this case.

But we must live in the present not in the past. It’s time to pull together not pull apart. And I believe this community will. 

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