REIMAGINING POLICING WORKSHOP SERIES
Insights from Black Law Enforcement Leaders on the Future of Policing
During this workshop we heard from Black law enforcement leaders about their unique perspective on the historic protests and calls for police reform in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.
Black law enforcement leadership provided mayors and their teams with candid reflections on what it takes to combat racism in policing, while increasing public safety and supporting and sustaining Black leadership in police forces. This virtual workshop is a continuation of our ongoing series hosted in partnership with Cities United and the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights to provide educational tools and analysis on the spectrum of policing and public safety options, alternative public safety models, and community-centered review processes.
Dr. RaShall M. Brackney, Chief of Police
Jerry Clayton, Sheriff
Washtenaw County, Michigan
Dwayne Crawford, Executive Director
National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Professionals
Moderator: Roy Austin, Principal
Partner at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis, LLP
Deputy Assistant to President Barack Obama for the Office of Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity
“Language matters. And the fact that we call these individuals justice-involved or formerly justice-involved is a reflection of their humanity and how we see them, and it’s incredibly important.”—Roy Austin, partner at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis, LLP and former deputy assistant to President Obama for the Office of Urban Affairs, Justice and Opportunity
“If you want to be an ally or an alliance, don’t designate yourself as that—let someone else designate you as an ally. You need to step back and allow those voices who need to be heard to be elevated to the forefront… I say become an alliance. An ally is somebody who’s connected. An alliance means, ‘I’m willing to even be behind you and leverage every resource, every privilege I have in order to move forward and I don’t need to be in the spotlight to do that.’”—Dr. RaShall M. Brackney, chief of police in Charlottesville, Virginia
“We have to work on changing the nature of the relationship [between Black men and police], not in times where there’s crisis. I hear all the time, ‘Something happened. Now let’s go out and reach out to the community. Let’s have a forum. Let’s talk.’ No. That time has passed… We have to engage the community and our young folks deliberately, thoughtfully, and do it in times where we’re not in crisis.”—Jerry Clayton, sheriff of Washtenaw County, Michigan
“I would encourage our mayors to get the private sector involved. Not in making the selection, but having an input in that process and providing more of a support system. None of these chiefs and our sheriffs can do it by themselves. And what concerns me a lot is putting some of these people, in my opinion, on an island where either you’re going to have great success or major failure.”—Dwayne Crawford, executive director of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
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