The Georgia NAACP hopes that the Memphis brutal beating caught on body camera footage will serve as a catalyst to get this country talking about police accountability and police reform.
The nation's oldest civil rights organization says now is the time for change here in Georgia and the suggestions include a lot more than just police training.
Georgia NAACP president Gerald Griggs says watching the beating video of Tyre Nichols is painful, but he believes it has sparked people across the country and here in Georgia to realize now is the time for police reform.
Tyre Nichols (Photo credit: Ben Crump Law) (Ben Crump Law)
"It may be an uphill battle, but I think people on both sides of the aisle realize the need for change," Gerald Griggs predicted.
The advocate and civil rights lawyer says he has already met with Lt. Governor Burt Jones and hopes to sit down with Governor Brian Kemp soon to talk about the NAACP's police reform agenda.
"Top of the list is body cameras on all sworn law enforcement officers," Griggs said. "That's an easy ask, most departments already have it. The issue is the Georgia State Patrol not having it."
In the police footage, as one officer strikes Tyre Nichols, another pepper-sprays him. ( )
The second request deals with officers who have confirmed excessive force cases against them.
"Second, we want a searchable database of all officers who have committed acts of police brutality," Griggs said.
"Third, we want to ban the use - the ability of officers to sit in a grand jury and give testimony in their own police involved cases," Griggs said.
The most important request, he says, involves independent prosecutors.
"We want the appointment of a special prosecutor in every police involved death in the state," Griggs said.
Georgia NAACP president Gerald Griggs
The regional director of a prominent police union says he is open to talk about all the suggestions.
"Our job is not pretty sometimes, but our job is not beating people up for no reason. The only request that law enforcement has is that we have a seat at the table whatever that reform is, or that discussion looks like," International Brotherhood of Police union representative Champion said.
The NAACP said it renewed its request to speak with Governor Kemp Monday.