LOCAL NEWS

Former Police Chief Says Proposed Reform Doesn’t Go Far Enough

Apr 22, 2021, 11:32 PM | Updated: Apr 23, 2021, 7:34 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – In the wake of the jury’s verdict of Derek Chauvin, the former chief of the Salt Lake City Police Department says now is the time to make changes to policing.

Chris Burbank left the department six years ago and has since shifted his work to police reform with the Center for Policing Equity. KSL-TV sat down with him in an interview after the judge read aloud the verdict for Chauvin.

“Oh, it’s huge. It’s huge,” Burbank said. “We now need to take that and say, how are we going to change policing so you and I aren’t having this discussion a year from now.”

Over the last year and beyond, the conversation surrounding police reform has taken off. Activists and protesters have demanded more police oversight and accountability, more body cameras and bans on lethal weapons among other things. And many police departments have made some changes.

Locally, Salt Lake City created the commission on racial equity in policing, which recently recommended to the mayor and City Council that the police department increase diversity of its field officers, require certain certifications and improve implicit bias and other training. The police department also just recently armed more officers with less lethal weapons. Burbank was disappointed.

“So, in other words we’re just going to do the same thing but we’ll shoot you with a softer thing as opposed to a real bullet. That’s not solving the problem!” he said. “That’s just changing the action of force! Why are we having those force encounters in the first place?”

Burbank argues weapons, training and many of other proposed changes may be helpful but that they do not get at the root of the problem within policing.

Issues, which he said, go beyond policing and are “a societal problem! Racism is not just in policing. It’s in education, it’s in employment. In fact, more impactful on whether or not someone is going to be in the criminal justice system is their access to health care! And yet we are arguing over things that are not going to change the outcome.”

“We’ve been making changes to these officers for years. For my entire career!” he said. “It hasn’t changed the outcome. Now it’s time to say let’s do things differently. Not the same things gentler. Let’s absolutely change what we’re doing and that will change the outcome.”

For him that includes changing the laws governing use of force. Providing a new set of rules for officers to learn and to be held accountable to.

“We need to look at the totality of the circumstances. We need to look at the exigency. Why is it immediately necessary? Not just reasonable. Necessary,” he said.

“We make the mistake of saying this level of violence is OK. ‘Oh, it was a really bad person so that makes it OK.’ No. Every single use of force against a member of the public is a failure of our system. Every single use of force against a police officer is a failure of our system. Why do we allow for this level of violence that is not seen in other countries.”

For many across the country, the need for change in policing is clear. But the way forward is uncertain.

“We have got to change. We have the country right now. Right here in front of us. Let’s change it!”

You can watch and read the full interview with Chris Burbank below:

KSL+: Next Steps For Policing After Derek Chauvin Verdict

 

 

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

16-year-old Ayden at Red Butte Garden....
Shara Park

Wednesday’s Child: Ayden hopes to be an author

For this week's Wednesday's Child, 16-year-old Ayden is looking for a family to encourage him to reach his goal of writing imaginative stories.
14 hours ago
...
Karah Brackin

Granite School District facing staffing shortages

Despite the pandemic, Granite School District’s spokesperson, Ben Horsley, said they have always needed more paraeducators. 
14 hours ago
Orem High School student council and cheerleaders getting ready to welcome their fellow students....
Matt Rascon

Thousands of students return to school in Alpine School District

The Alpine School District readies itself to welcome its 85,000 students back to the classroom.
14 hours ago
Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

Provo sculptor to unveil latest creation at Little League World Series this week

For the first time, a team from Utah is in the Little League World Series. The tournament in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, will also feature a Utah sculptor who will be unveiling quite a statue.
14 hours ago
(Weber County Sheriff's Office)...
Madison Swenson

Vehicle recovered from Pineview Reservoir after leaving roadway

A vehicle was recovered from Pineview Reservoir Tuesday after authorities say it left the roadway.
14 hours ago
First responders at the fatal crash on Trappers Loop. (Mountain Green Fire Protection District)...
Michael Houck

Motorcyclist dead after crash, thrown ‘150 feet’ into embankment on Trappers Loop 

A motorcyclist is dead after a crash on Trappers Loop, causing him to be thrown down the embankment.
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
...
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...
AARP Utah

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Former Police Chief Says Proposed Reform Doesn’t Go Far Enough