"I envision joint community-police policymaking, procedural development, operational decision-making, and completely independent oversight - from reception of complaints to the investigation and adjudication of individual cases", Stamper said. "My vision is of the mayor, city council members, and chiefs - commissioners and superintendents – all working to build a ‘people’s police'".
Stamper, who was in law enforcement for 34 years and served as chief of the Seattle Police Department for six years, also said the community should participate in co-planning and co-policing of all political protests and the disciplinary process. Members in the community should also be at the table with a vote during hiring decisions, academy teaching and in-service training.
"This is the understanding that a 'we’re all in this together' mentality is essential to building a mutually respectful, mutually trusting relationship", Stamper explained. “It’s hard work, to be sure, especially when confronting the barrier of the entrenched political clout of police unions”.
In response to Floyd's death, there has been a flurry of debates nationally by lawmakers and policymakers at all levels about defunding police departments. Trump, however, has made it clear that he will not consider any of these types of demands.
"People are talking about defunding or dismantling in ways that seem to equal no more funds... There’s a tendency for people to have their own picture of what defunding means. The powers-that-be, civic leaders and grassroots organizers all have a role to play", Stamper said.
Stamper, who resigned in 2000 after officers used tear gas against protesters, said one major factor is that from the beginning organized policing in America was on the wrong foot.
"Police allied with slave patrols, against poor people, aligned with the elite, siding with the Bull Connors of the world. They are not interested in institutions or civil rights. We’re still on course, unfortunately. I wish I could say it was different," he said.
Stamper said when he saw Floyd's murder he was "sickened and appalled, but not surprised".
"I wish I could say I found this shocking. I was particularly troubled to look at his expression. It was casual, an ‘I’ve got this.’ For 8.46 seconds he had his knee and body weight on another human being. It was a cavalier act of murder", Stamp said.
Stamper indicated that the development reveals that the problems are structural.
"It is a tainted, toxic institution characterized by racism and bigotry with people who believe they can act with impunity. We need an institution with people who are compassionate, competent and professional", he said.
Stamper stressed that although there is pervasive racism there are also many good law enforcement officers who are usually unable to speak out for fear of retribution. But if and when proposed reforms take hold, these officers will be in a position to contribute as they have been to much-needed change.
Stamper warned, however, that the Trump administration cannot solve the problem and is unlikely to be the source of any positive changes.
"Attorney General William Barr is so aligned with his boss, he can’t see straight. It’s time to discount these people. They are cheerleading for police brutality and violence. They are sad. Sick. Pathological. We’re dealing with personal crazy. Change can’t and will not come from them. They need to be pushed to the sidelines", he said.
Stamper has feared the police were too powerful and officials too cowardly and that the US would only see modest gains in reforms.
However, he has been impressed at the size, the scope and intensity of the protests.
"The state of the uprising and grassroot protests caused people to pay attention", Stamper said. "I think we’re poised for real change".