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Utah woman attends police brutality rallies but also works with police on reform

Posted at 12:30 PM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 14:30:03-04

SARATOGA SPRINGS, Utah — With President Trump signing an executive order Tuesday regarding police reform, what do people who belong to groups such as Black Lives Matter feel about all of this?

Josianne Petit, an African-American woman who lives in Saratoga Springs -- by way of New York City -- has a lot to say about it and isn’t afraid to speak her mind.

She attends police brutality protests, but also tries to work with police on reforms.

“I protest the cops all the time and then I say, 'hey, hire me, I’ll teach you," Petit said.

Petit works with Black Lives Matter but also started a group called Mama and Papa Panthers.

Just before conducting a training session with local police in Saratoga Springs, Petit said she’s not certain anything that President Trump says or does will have a major impact on police reform and use-of-force issues.

“I feel like the president has a credibility issue, and therefore whatever he presents will be treated as suspect by both sides," Petit said. "He was telling military people and governors to shut down the protests and now he’s going to put out a use-of-force executive order. Seems inconsistent at best.”

She chooses to focus her time and energy on things closer to home.

“I want to know what our legislature is going to do, I want to know how they’re going to vote on reforming police departments, defunding police departments etc., here in Utah because that’s what I have influence over and that’s what impacts me directly," Petit said.

Petit will continue to take part in training sessions with local police departments on what she calls cross-cultural communication.

“What the police departments want to convey to the community, what they actually say to the community, how it’s received by the community and how do we bridge that gap?”