Protest leaders discuss what’s next as they call for police reform

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — After the second weekend of protests across Northeast Wisconsin and the nation many are wondering: what’s next?

Dejahnae Williams, one of the organizers of Sunday’s protest in Green Bay echoed that sentiment, “What’re we going to do to change? We got their attention, not that we got it, we need to start implementing changes.”

“Defund the police” has been seen on signs at those protests – but what does defunding the police mean?

There’s no clear answer, it’s more of a spectrum.

Some simply want to move some funds from police departments to social services.

On the other end of the spectrum, some people want to strip all funding and dissolve police departments.

Those funds would go toward mental health providers, social workers, and other advocates who would act as first responders.

Green Bay Police Chief Andrew Smith told WFRV Local 5 that his department already focuses on mental health.

“We’ve given our officers additional training in de-escalation,” Chief Smith said Sunday. “We’ve had dozens and dozens of our officers go through a 40-hour mental health course where they deal with people and they learn to deal with people who are going through a mental health crisis.

There has not specifically been talk in Northeast Wisconsin about defunding the police, but protesters at Sunday’s demonstration here in green bay say that they’ve been working with city leaders toward change.

“Which means us working with the council to start implementing these bills to really get equality and equity, that’s what we’re out here protesting for,” Williams said.

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