Representatives with the Texas
Municipal Police Association stopped in Waco during a media tour Monday
to voice their concern about police brutality, national protests and the
state of law enforcement views across the state.
Director Mitch Slaymaker and media coordinator Andrea Coker met with
local media members as part of their 13-site tour that will continue
across the state into the spring. Slaymaker, a retired Brownwood Police
Department patrol sergeant, said incidents of true police brutality are
rare, but citizens may reach a conclusion about incidents before a full
investigation has been completed.
are trying to get the true narrative that surrounds not only law
enforcement in Texas but also in the nation to combat the false
narrative that has gone viral that police are nothing but jack-booted
thugs and that police brutality is out of control," Slaymaker said.
"There are things that are simply falsehoods.
"There are people
who don't want to look at statistics, who don't want to look at the
facts and don't want logic to play a part of the narrative."
According to a Bureau of Justice Statistics study of
contact between police and the public, a total of 60,000 people were
interviewed in 2008. About 1.4 percent of residents said the police used
or threatened to use force against them during their most recent
contact with police in 2008, and 74 percent of the people said police
used or threatened force against them in 2008, which they felt was
"When it comes down to the end of the day, officers are
a part of the community and it's a community they are sworn to
protect," Slaymaker said. "There is nothing further from the truth that
an officer wakes up for their day and decides that they want to get into
a fight with someone, regardless of race or ethnicity."
said he encourages local law enforcement to speak with residents about
their concerns and the roles police play in daily duties. He said an
open dialogue can combat false narratives and keep a strong community
conversation with police and residents.
has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald
since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering
crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a
University of Kansas graduate.