Officers form a line in front of a police precinct May 27, during a protest over the death of George Floyd.
As police unions across the nation face growing demands from the public to change the way officers interact with civilians, and particularly people of color, the head of the Memphis, Tenn., police union says he agrees with the need for reform — in some cases.
Michael Williams, the president of the Memphis Police Association, tells NPR's Weekend Edition that he agrees "whole-heartedly" that the city's budget — which called for more than $260 million in police services and just $4.4 million for housing in 2019 — isn't equitably spread to address the needs of the people of Memphis.
Lightfoot told NPR that police unions "are extraordinarily reluctant to embrace reforms."
While Williams expressed some support for changing the way the city allocates funds, he said he isn't in support of many of the demands activists are making including having the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation be the party responsible for investigating officer-involved shootings or encouraging officers to give interviews as soon as possible after they are accused of misconduct.