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'8 Can’t Wait' police reforms used in Washtenaw County for more than a year

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Posted at 5:53 PM, Jun 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-10 19:33:20-04

(WXYZ) — You may have heard some of the protesters pushing for police reforms chanting “8 Can’t Wait,” which is a set of reforms to de-escalate police actions. They have been in use in the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office for more than a year.

Some of the methods were phased in more than 10 years ago after Jerry Clayton was elected sheriff.

“I think in our profession, I’ll just say it. We’ve been arrogant," Clayton told 7 Action News. "I think we’ve been a little pig-headed and not listening to the people.”

8 Can’t Wait can be seen in depth at https://8cantwait.org/.

Sheriff Clayton says his department goes further. Instead of not shooting into moving vehicles, they also don’t shoot from moving vehicles.

“If you see one of the staff is involved in an excessive force and somebody gets injured, you not only have a duty to stop that person from doing it, you have to render aid to that person,” the sheriff said regarding the use of force.

The life experiences of this 55-year-old sheriff as an African-American also give him perspective. He says their standard of evaluation is the law but also is it the right thing to do.

“If we don’t hold ourselves accountable, we see it now with George Floyd, people are going to hold us accountable,” Clayton said.

He is an advisor to national groups including the ACLU. He also says you can’t do public safety if the public doesn’t trust you.