MEMPHIS, Tenn. — You may remember on Monday when Memphis Police Director Michael Rallings said if protest leaders claim they haven’t met with or heard from him, it’s a lie.
But activists dispute that claim and told us they’ve requested meetings with the director, but have yet to have one this year.
Activists told us they’re ready for a sit-down meeting with Rallings.
“We’re waiting for him to reach out as he said he would,” said Christine Lewis. “I’m sure he wants to be a man of his word.
Lewis is an activist and a member of the Memphis Coalition of Concerned Citizens.
She told us last November, her group was invited to a meeting with Rallings.
More than one person from the Memphis Coalition of Concerned Citizens told us not all of the armed officers there would sit down with them.
They felt oppressed, intimidated and ended the meeting before it began.
“At the end of that meeting Director Rallings said we would meet again,” Lewis said. “We saw him sometime after that meeting, and he laughed. I don’t get the sincerity.”
Monday, Rallings disputed that he hasn’t met with folks.
“The frustration is that often times we have met, and some of those same individuals will go right out to the media and say we have not heard from Director Rallings,” Rallings said Monday. “And that is absolutely a lie.”
But Lewis isn’t the only local activist who said she’s waiting for a meeting.
“They want these nice smooth meetings right now, and everybody’s fed up,” said Activist Theryn Bond. “We want answers, and we’re demanding changes.”
Bond told us Monday that she’s tried to speak with police about making changes, but in her eyes, nothing's been done.
“While other cities are making reforms during this time, the city of Memphis has done nothing to try and make reforms that would make a difference in the city with the citizens,” Bond said.
Lewis told us at the end of the day, she doesn’t know who's responsible for the lack of change—the mayor, or the police director.
But she said someone’s at fault, and it's time for open conversation and change.
Before the protests on Wednesday, Strickland and Rallings spoke to reporters after they met with activists Devantee Hill and Frank Gotti.
Thursday FOX13 reached out to the MPD spokesperson again.
After multiple attempts, the spokesperson said, “The Director has met with many members from the community to include those who are known activists; his door remains open.”
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