Dozens of recommendations come from months-long independent review of Raleigh police protest response

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — An outside consulting firm has released its report into the police response to protests in downtown Raleigh in May and June. They were held following the death of George Floyd.

The use of force by the Raleigh Police Department was questioned by the community and members of the city council.

The city hired an independent consulting firm, 21CP Solutions, back in June to review the response.

Over the last five months, it said it held several conversations with the city, interviewed officers, conducted focus groups with community members, and reviewed documents and events.

The report includes 38 recommendations. They involved operational planning, requiring every group that protests get a permit. They also focused on use of force, encouraging RPD to get new tear gas since some of what was deployed back in May was expired.

Then there’s communication: some officers on the ground didn’t know tear gas was deployed. The report highlighted the body-worn camera policy and said some officers forgot them or didn’t have the equipment to mount them.

“We did not need to spend $87,000,” Attorney Dawn Blagrove said.

Blagrove is a longtime community advocate. She said 21CP reached out to her to participate but she declined. She’s critical of the company and its record. She said the findings were not surprising.

“One of the problems that we have seen over and over again with Raleigh Police Department is that there is a lack of leadership,” Blagrove said.

In a statement, Raleigh Police Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown said:

“In a memorandum to the City Manager in early June, I requested and supported the retention of qualified consultants to conduct an objective review of the Raleigh Police Department’s responses to the events that occurred in late May and early June. Now that the report from 21CP Solutions has been submitted, I look forward to reviewing its findings. The Raleigh Police Department has a well-established record of continually striving to improve the service it provides to the City, and the 21CP Solutions report will be carefully considered by the Department in that spirit. Per the Council’s direction, the Raleigh Police Department is planning to report back by December 11, 2020 in response to the recommendations, to include next steps and additional follow up work.”

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