Nebraska police, community leaders agree to ‘Hold Cops Accountable,’ then dance together

‘Black lives matter and they haven’t ... and they need to’

Lincoln, Nebraska, Police Chief Jeff Bliemeister says he welcomes the accountability

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN/Gray News) - Lincoln Police Chief Jeff Bliemeister, police officers and community leaders met at the site of the George Floyd memorial Wednesday afternoon to sign an agreement to “Hold Cops Accountable.”

“What we must do is work for proactive action that never allows this to happen again,” said Ishma Valenti the programming director at the Malone Center.

The Lincoln Police Department said it recognizes the value and dignity of all people in the Lincoln community and recognizes the right of every voice to be heard.

LPD will attend and be engaged with community members at a monthly event called “Hold Cops Accountable” that will be facilitated by the HCA committee in a town hall meeting at the Malone Center.

“Black lives matter and they haven’t ... and they need to,” Bliemeister said. “The action steps of holding us accountable, we want that accountability. We all want that throughout our career, beginning with me.”

This monthly meeting will serve as an outlet for community members to publicly voice displeasure, compliments, complaints, concerns or commendations concerning the Lincoln Police Department.

“This is not going to happen overnight, this isn’t going to happen next week,” said John Goodwin the executive director of the Malone Center. “This is a long term process. My ancestors died for this.”

Following the announcement of the HCA initiative, there was a special moment where police officers and community members did the Cupid Shuffle outside the Malone Center.

The HCA committee will be composed of Malone Center employees, community members, local area law enforcement officials, and members of the Mayor's Multicultural Advisory Committee. There will be a public record of these meetings.

The HCA will provide any person who communicates a concern or grievance the opportunity to file a formal complaint with the Lincoln Police Department's Internal Affairs Unit or the Citizen's Police Advisory Board.

"What happens after we get done marching? Marching is showing unity before we get to action," said Goodwin.

The stories told by community members during these meetings will serve as educational “touchstones” that will be taught in LPD’s academy and annual in-service.

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