Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families

12Nov/140

NYPD Policing Issues & African American Communities – Brutality, Fear, Distrust, Conscious Biases, etc.

Below is the recording of a discussion that took place with NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, talking with Connie Rice of the Advancement Project. What's most interesting in this discussion (the first 20-25 minutes or so) is to hear the very clear and conscious acknowledgment by the commissioner of the tension between African American communities and the police department, as well as an acknowledgment by the commissioner that officers are very aware of the fear and terror felt by African American community members in their relationship with the police department.

While not the explicit focus of this discussion, I think that subtext is extremely important because many of us have long been clear that police departments have deliberately created that fear and that sense of terror, and rely on that fear and terror as a primary policing strategy. It's not an innocent misunderstanding between, or a set of misperceptions between, community and police; it's the deliberate tactic used by the police.

There are a range of additional important issues addressed in this discussion, including poor law enforcement responses with respect to immigration enforcement, human / sex trafficking and its disproportionate impact on Black and brown communities, gender dynamics in law enforcement and the honest reflections of police officers who acknowledge their conscious racial and cultural biases.

Connie Rice and Bill Bratton Discuss Police-Community Partnerships

Last month, Connie Rice of Advancement Project and NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton sat down at the Bridging the Great Divide workshop, hosted by John Jay College of Criminal Justice and Open Society Foundations, to discuss issues between police and communities.

Program held in September 2014
Approximately 1 hour