Conflict between law enforcement officials and the communities they serve throughout the nation, has sadly been featured with increasing prominence in the local and national news. From New York to Oakland, CA; from Minnesota to Florida, and everywhere in between racial and ethnic minorities are concerned that they are being treated differently, and often much more harshly, by law enforcement. Sadly, this disparate treatment does at time have fatal consequences, and the lack of consequences for the law enforcement official often compounds the frustration, and the mistrust of our communities.
To help address the concerns of many of the communities served and represented by the NAACP, Senator Tammy Duckworth (IL) and Congressmen Steve Cohen (TN) and Lacy Clay (MO) have introduced the Police Training and Independent Review Act of 2017 (S. 814 / H.R. 1870). This legislation addresses this very serious problem on two fronts: first, it encourages states to provide training to law enforcement officers when dealing with ethnic and racial communities, cultural diversity, and police interaction with the disabled, mentally ill, and new immigrants. Secondly, the legislation would encourage states to use independent prosecutors to investigate and, if need be, prosecute instances of police use of deadly force.
For more information on the legislation and what you can do to advocate in support of it, please see the attached Action Alert.