In July, I marched in 3 of the 5 daily marches in Atlanta. Police brutality & discrimination has destroyed families and broken the hearts of communities. We’ve seen discussions & table talks regarding this issue, but what’s the plan?
When I marched, it was my first steps in taking action against police injustice – the protests came after recent frustration over the police-involved shootings of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Philando Castile in St. Paul, Minnesota. “No justice, no peace, no racist police”… “Hands up don’t shoot” were sang by men, women, and children from various class, backgrounds, and ethnicity. Signs begged for life to be spared. Pleaded for equality. Demanded justice. Chastised systemic racism. Drivers cheered from their cars, honked their horns, and put their fist in the air. Some officers shook hands with citizens, partook in brief conversations, and even gave away their water! The beat of the movement was palpable, not just because of the drums & horns, but because of love. We are in this TOGETHER.
It may have started with ‘Black Lives Matter’ but this is about fair treatment that should be delivered to ALL of us. Black Activists Turn Out To Rally For Unarmed White Man Shot Dead By Police. My second step was hosting a forum with my friends to discuss recent officer related events and our response to it. Our concern about policing & ideas of resolution were different – but they were all equally important, and absolutely valid. There are many facets to correcting the officer-community engagement. Thirdly, my family started boycotting businesses that invests in private prisons. Still… lives continue to be lost at the hands of some individuals who are sworn to protect & serve. Police departments need to try something different…
If you always do what you’ve always done,
then you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten
The President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing offers alternative principles on policing. President Barack Obama brought together brilliant practitioners, civil rights, law enforcement, and community leaders to contribute to the initiative. The report that outlines new federal-grade expectations for law enforcement, addresses several sides of the recent issues, and gives a response to questions that have burdened may Americans:
When will police brutality stop? What can be done to prevent discrimination from the police? How can we ensure the safety of our officers? How can we build a connection between the community and law enforcement?
These are key areas of 21st Century Policing
While some of the suggestions may be controversial, it is the reason why there should be peaceful, open-minded town halls between the community, mayor, and police chiefs. Together, you can figure out how to best serve your community. Here are some action items from the 21st Century Policing Report:
Law enforcement agencies should ACKNOWLEDGE
the role of policing in past and present injustice and discrimination.
Law enforcement agencies should COLLABORATE with community
members to develop policies and strategies in communities and neighborhoods
disproportionately affected by crime.
Because offensive or harsh language can escalate a minor situation,
law enforcement agencies should underscore the importance of language used
and adopt policies directing officers to speak to individuals with RESPECT.
Law enforcement agency policies for training on use of force should
emphasize DE-ESCALATION and alternatives to arrest
or summons in situations where appropriate.
Watch the video:
Much LOVE, and best of luck.
- Time – Why President Obama’s Police Reform Is a Work in Progress
- Huffington Post – President Obama on Police Shootings “Change Has Been Too Slow”
- Dept of Justice, Policing Task Force