Polynesian community leaders urged Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew to change the department’s shoot-to-kill policy, a day before they plan to hold a rally in the wake of recent officer-involved shootings.
Members have been urging police brass to implement a shoot-to-disarm rule following the deadly June 9 officer involved shooting of Shane Tasi in Mountain View.
"He said it's impossible," Polynesian Community Center Ex. Director Miriama Aumavae said after the meeting, agreeing to disagree about Mew's position.
A state investigation cleared APD Officer Boaz Gionson of any criminal charges involved in the shooting.
Members of the media were not allowed to attend the private meeting, according to APD Spokesperson Lt. Dave Parke. However, Parker says the meeting was Mew's idea following reports Polynesian community leaders concerns had been ignored.
The meeting started at 10 a.m. Friday, lasting more than two hours. As Aumavae emerged she said she was happy with the outcome, and was glad Mew did not try to talk her our of holding Saturday's rally.
A miscommunication with city officials appears to be why Mew never recieved the message.
Marilyn Stewart Richardson, Municipal Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity, agreed communication could have been better.
On July 1, APD say 59-year-old Harry Smith pointed an airgun, designed to fire BBs and pellets, at police before officers shot and killed him in South Anchorage.
The rally will be held Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. at the Far North Bicentennial Park.