Rockford Police assistant deputy chief offers protest perspective

Published: Jun. 3, 2020 at 10:59 PM CDT
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It's been a period of unrest for communities across the country as protesters march and rally for justice after the killing of George Floyd. In our own area, demonstrations call on local law enforcement agencies for change.

23 News spoke to Rockford Police Department's Assistant Deputy Chief Carla Redd to get her perspective as a black member of law enforcement and how we can all work together to ignite reform in our community.

“Being a member of law enforcement, I don't want anybody to paint that broad brush across all law enforcement being the same,” said Redd.

Assistant Deputy Chief Carla Redd says she was in absolute shock when she learned about the killing of George Floyd.

“I’m looking at the officer, I’m looking at George on the ground and I’m like surely this isn’t what's happening,” said Redd.

Since Floyd’s death, protests blanket the country and our area fighting for justice and equality. After serving the Rockford Police Department for nearly 23 years, Redd says she's had her share of racial injustice in our community.

“I remember responding to a resident and the citizen didn’t want to talk to me because I was black. But I had a supervisor that says well you get what you get, you're going to talk to her or not talk to any officer.”

Redd says when police brutality takes place it can often times become other's reality if they don't have a personal experience to associate with. That's why she says RPD’s training is key.

“We have those tough conversations. We may not all see eye to eye and that’s a good thing. We talk about those differences very openly and candidly and at the end we come together on ‘OK how do we overcome this issue? How do we bridge this gap?’”

Through recent protests in Rockford, residents fight for change with some activist groups asking for demands to be met by both police and city leaders. Redd believes the first step is dialogue, saying there's always room at the table for discussion.

“You've got a message you want to get across? Continue to protest, but do it peacefully. And when it's all said and done you have to sit down and have a conversation to see how we get these things met.”

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