PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — Tyre Nichol’s death in Memphis, Tennesse, is causing some to think about the future of policing in the DMV.
Community advocates like Qiana Johnson have been a part of the fight against police misconduct for years, and she’s sharing her insight.
“I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. And this is a double-edged sword for us, especially in this particular situation, right because it’s all black. Police officers that have taken to killing another black man in the streets,” said Johnson, who is the founder of Life After Release and Co-conductor for Harriet’s Wildest Dreams.
“You know, it’s just it’s just we have a serious problem [that] is systemic, and it’s the same everywhere,” she continued.
Following the release of the body camera video of Tyre Nichols’ death in Memphis, some are now highlighting deadly interactions with police in Prince George’s County such as William Green’s death. In 2020, Green was shot and killed in the back of a cop car by a Prince George’s County officer. The case reached a $20 million settlement.
In 2019 Demonte Ward-Blake was left paralyzed after he was assaulted by an officer during a traffic stop. The cop was found guilty of second-degree assault.
“All police chiefs are jumping on the bandwagon and releasing statements saying how they stand against these things when each and every one of them has stood in cases of police brutality in their own jurisdictions that they’re turning a blind eye to,” said Johnson.
Last November, a new police accountability board was started in the county. They’ve been focusing on reviewing complaints of misconduct. This week they heard public comments.
Johnson believes the community should focus on strengthening each other.
“Police presence is not going to make us safer. An increase in police activity is not going to make us safer. What’s gonna make us more safe is actually looking into our community and seeing what we are doing as a community. How are we reaching in and taking into our community,” she said.
“So we need to start looking inward instead of outward for public safety and taking back our communities. Because we can have that power. It’s being done and we can continue to do it,” she continued.