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Protestors aim to shine light on police reform in Twin Falls

Posted at 6:36 PM, Jun 30, 2020
and last updated 2021-03-04 04:07:57-05

TWIN FALLS — Savina Barini organized the '8 can't wait' protest to bring attention to eight policies the Twin Falls Police Department can implement to be a leader in police reform. On Saturday, protestors met up in front of the visitor center and made their way down to Blue Lakes Boulevard and Pole Line Road to form a sit-in protest.

The '8 can't wait' initiative was started by Campaign Zero back in 2015 after the shooting death of Michael Brown. On their website, they say their goal is to bring immediate change to police departments.

The eight policies included in the initiative are: ban chokeholds and strangleholds, require de-escalation, require a warning before shooting, requires all exhaust alternatives before shooting, duty to intervene, ban shooting at moving vehicles, require use of force continuum and require comprehensive reporting.

Savina says if the Twin Falls Police Department implements these policies, they believe the department will be a leader in police reform.

"I think Twin Falls is a good example. There's a smaller bureaucracy; there are fewer issues of existing issues of use of force. I think Twin can be an excellent example of incremental change, it can happen in small increments, but it can happen quickly," Barini said.

Savina says they believe these eight policies are a good starting point for police reform in Twin Falls.

"And so this is a very basic, very bare minimum step towards making sure that the systems in place are not encouraging the sort of atrocities that we are seeing, the sort of massive loss of life we are seeing," Barini said.

The Twin Falls Police Department says they believe they already meet five of the eight policies, but the issue is their wording on certain policies.

"There are a few that if you were not to understand our background of training, but you might read our policy manual and disagree. So we're trying to state those more clearly in our policy manual and continue to work with those community members," Craig Kingsbury, Chief of Police for the Twin Falls Police Department, said.

The Twin Falls Police Department last week made their policies and procedures manual available to the public online.

Kingsbury says he believes Twin Falls can become a leader in police reform.

"Yes, I do. I think the Twin Falls police department is already a leader. We've been a leader in the state of Idaho and the northwest for many many years," Kingsbury said.

Savina says some of the protesters have already been in talks with the police department to see if they would implement these policies. The Twin Falls Police Department says they are ready to work with them.

To read more about these policies, you can head over to the 8 can't wait website.