There’s no question that racism, disparities and injustice continue to permeate society.
What happened to George Floyd is the latest in an unacceptable series of injustices that should have never occurred. Many have shared ways we can reflect and act to help create much needed change. Protesting, voting, listening, educating and learning, supporting, giving, speaking up, conversating - all ways to take positive steps forward. Yet, rapid and consistent improvement is needed at every level of society.
Many point to police reform first and foremost. I don’t proclaim to have answers, but if I were facilitating a discussion with any police department, commission and/or elected officials today, here are some of the questions I’d be asking:
What is the department’s honest stance on each major event that occurred recently - namely, Amy Cooper, George Floyd and protests?
Is that stance in alignment with the communities the department serves and protects? (If not, how can the department better align with communities?)
How has the department communicated, trained and acted on these stances prior to recent events?
What are the comparable situations the department has encountered? How were they handled and - especially based on recent events - what should have happened?
What feedback has the department heard from the communities on how to improve?
Based on this, what opportunities are there for policies, procedures and/or training to be improved?
How can the department better communicate and “live” its values internally and externally?
When an officer’s performance is not consistent with the department’s values, what has been the response time and discipline actions? Given recent events, what should be changed?
How will the department measure improvements and hold accountability?
Beneath these questions lie even tougher questions that need to be addressed. Our communities deserve better. There should never be another inexcusable incident. And I’m ready to continue my part in eliminating disparities and racial injustices.