Calls for police reform intensify following Derek Chauvin verdict

NOW: Calls for police reform intensify following Derek Chauvin verdict

WISCONSIN (CBS 58) -- A day after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all counts, the push is on to make changes in policing. 

Jacob Blake's uncle tells us he got emotional, like so many others, when "guilty on all charges" was read.

“That at least there was a blemish, a quick flash of what justice should look like everyday for all African descendants in this country,” said Justin Blake, Jacob Blake’s uncle.

Attorney Mark Thomsen wants justice for his clients. He represented both protester Frank Nitty -- taken down by deputies on the Hoan Bridge -- and former Bucks player Sterling Brown. 

“They didn’t discipline any of those officers for actually violating Mr. Brown’s rights,” said Mark Thomsen, of Gingras, Thomsen and Wachs. “We need to start tracking those officers that violate people’s rights and discipline them, so that allows the officers that are there trying to do their job every day the ability to function."

Former Milwaukee police officer Dr. Kenneth Harris Jr. agrees change is imminent.

“I’m sure the reforms will come, but they’ll take time. I don’t think the reforms will be in the way that the public expects it because many of the things they complain about, the police already don’t do. We don’t do chokeholds,” said Harris.

Where change may have to begin is in the classroom, before cops take to the streets. 

At UWM, they now require criminal justice undergrads to take a course in race and policing.

“So I think that kind of gives students a more substantial understanding of the history of race in the criminal justice system, the current issues, whether it’s race and policing or race in the courts, race in corrections, to really be well-rounded,” said Dr. Danielle Romain Dagenhardt or UWM's Department of Criminal Justice & Criminology graduate program.

Well-rounded, and for the vast majority, Jim Palmer with the WPPA says, still respected.

“Somebody can support social justice efforts and still support the dangerous and important jobs that officers do to keep our community safe,” said Palmer.

Palmer says the actions of Derek Chauvin do not reflect the standards, the values or the training of officers in Wisconsin.

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