Rock Island police community relations commission in works

4 The Record

Citywide effort to improve race relations

Rock Island as a city and a community are in a mode of mending fences.

It involves problems that won’t go away overnight — problems that don’t have easy answers.

City leaders are challenged to do something about it and get the ball rolling.

Division in the city became apparent after the deadly police shooting of DeShawn Tatum outside a convenience store in early April.

This after a pursuit.

Rock Island County’s state’s attorney cleared the officers of any wrongdoing, but Tatum’s death mobilized his friends and family to hold rallies and marches in the city calling for justice.

They took their concerns to city hall as well.

There was a confrontation outside one meeting among supporters of police and supporters of Tatum.

City leaders made a commitment to improve relations with members of the community who feel they are being underserved.

That recent volatility in Rock Island is not something we’re used to seeing.

It is not something city leaders can ignore and they promise not to.

Rock Island Mayor Mike Thoms joined us for a conversation on this week’s 4 The Record.

First off, he shared his thoughts on when he first saw the reaction, his reaction to the people who feel their concerns aren’t being met, and if there’s a race problem in Rock Island.

There was a promise when the frustration spilled into the city council meeting to work with his challenger in the mayor’s race, Thurgood Brooks, and alderman Dylan Parker about police pursuits and other matters.

Thoms discussed the status of that and where he thinks the city can make changes to address the concerns.

Watch the full conversation in the video above.

Question of the week

Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you.  It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.

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