Improving Police and African American Relations

The Facts and the Problems

The first thing that needs to be said is we all should be very grateful to the police for honoring, serving and protecting our communities while risking their lives daily.  The goal here is not to bash or hate on the police, actually we believe any good officer would agree that our 7 answers are a great idea..  The below statistics are the reason why police officers do not receive the same level of respect as a veteran or an active duty military.  Our goal is to help them to do so while creating better relationships and communities.  

After rewriting this section many times, having spoke to police officers and people I respect about the subject.  I decided to find what experts were saying and what the facts were about the controversial topic rather than share just my opinion. I was lucky enough to find statistics from the following https://vittana.org/42-shocking-police-brutality-statistics in an article by Crystal Ayres.  Although I didn't include them all many are included that I felt were relevant.  My hope is not only will people be convinced who are not already that we have a problem and we have to find ways to improve it.  More importantly I hope that police chiefs, commissioners, sheriffs, mayors and other leaders will say this is not who our department will be and allow us to partner with them to improve the problem.


Police officers are indicted in fewer than 1% of killings, but the indictment rate for civilians involved in a killing is 90%. (FiveThirtyEight)

Police Officers must be held accountable.

  

52% of police officers report that it is not unusual for law enforcement officials to turn a blind eye to the improper conduct of other officers. (US Department of Justice)

Unfit officers must be exposed and dismissed or all officers are seen that way


61% of police officers state that they do not always report serious abuse that has been directly observed by fellow officers. (US Department of Justice)

Unfit officers must be exposed and dismissed or all officers are seen that way


43% of police officers agree with this sentiment: “Always following the rules is not compatible with the need to get their job done.” (US Department of Justice)

Unfit officers must be exposed or all officers are seen that way


84% of police officers have stated in a recent survey that they have directly witnesses a fellow officer using more force than was necessary. (US Department of Justice)

Unfit officers must be exposed or all officers are seen that way


Just 5% of the police departments in the United States contributed statistics to a 2001 report that was created to track police brutality on civilians. (US Department of Justice)

Police Officers must be held accountable.


People who are African-American/Black are twice as likely to be killed by a police officer while being unarmed compared to a Caucasian/White individual. (The Guardian)

We must do something to protect the rights of African Americans


1 in 4 people who are killed by law enforcement officials in the United States are unarmed. (Mic)

de-escalation techniques should be mandatory for all police officers.


Out of the 2.3 million people who are incarcerated in the United States right now, an estimated 1 million of them are African-Americans/Black. (NAACP)

We must do something to protect the rights of African Americans


The most common form of police misconduct in 2010 was excessive force. This is similar to the data that was collected in 2001 by the US Government. (Cato Institute/US Department of Justice)

Police Officers must be held accountable.


1 out of every 3 people that are killed by police officers in any given year in the United States is African-American/Black. (Mapping Police Violence)

We must do something to protect the rights of African Americans

Police Officers must be held accountable.

We must do something to protect the rights of African Americans


Where you live matters when it comes to police brutality. If you are an African-American/Black individual, then you are 7 times more likely to be killed by a police officer in Oklahoma than you are if you lived in Georgia. (Mapping Police Violence)

We must do something to protect the rights of African Americans

Police Officers must be held accountable.

We must do something to protect the rights of African Americans


In 17% of the 100 largest cities in the United States, police officers killed African-American/Black men at a higher rate than the US murder rate of 2014. (Mapping Police Violence)

We must do something to protect the rights of African Americans

Police Officers must be held accountable.


69% of the victims of police brutality in the United States who are African-American/Black were suspected of a non-violent crime and were unarmed. (Mapping Police Violence)

We must do something to protect the rights of African Americans

Police Officers must be held accountable.


The levels of violent crime in US cities are not a factor in the likelihood of police brutality occurring. An individual is 15 times more likely to be the victim of police brutality in Orlando, FL compared to Buffalo, NY even though Orlando has a lower violent crime rate. (Mapping Police Violence)

Police Officers must be held accountable.



97% of the cases of police brutality that were tracked in 2015 did not result in any officer involved being charged with a crime. (Mapping Police Violence)

Police Officers must be held accountable.



Only 3 police departments in the largest 100 cities in the United States did not kill anyone from 2013-2016. Those cities are Buffalo, New York; Irvine, California; and Plano, Texas. (Mapping Police Violence)

Police Officers must be held accountable.



African-American/Black and Hispanic police officers are more likely to fire their weapon than Caucasians/Whites, especially when confronting an African-American/Black suspect. (US Department of Justice)

Police Officers must be held accountable.



African-American/Black police officers are 3.3 times more likely to fire a gun at a crime scene than other cops. (Ridgeway)

Police Officers must be held accountable.



Police officers are 18.5 times more likely to be killed by an African-American/Black person than a police officer killing an unarmed African-American/Black person. (FBI)

One of the reasons police should be more respected and paid better



135 police officers were killed in the line of duty in 2016, which was the highest number of fatalities in the past 5 years. (Time)

One of the reasons police should be more respected and paid better


39% of African-American/Black individuals who were killed by police during their arrest were not attacking when they were killed from 2012 data. (Vox)

Police Officers must be held accountable.


The Dallas police department has implemented mandatory de-escalation techniques as part of their officer training. As a result of this effort, the police department experienced a 60% drop in the number of complaints against police from 2009-2014. It also resulted in a 30% drop in police assaults and a 40% drop in police shootings. (Dallas News)

de-escalation techniques should be mandatory for all police officers.


Even though police body cameras have been being implemented across the United States, in New Orleans in 2014, 59% of the time the cameras were not on when police officers were in a use of force event. (The Nation)

Police Officers must be held accountable.


15 states are seeking to exempt body camera footage from Freedom of Information Act laws that exist. (The Nation)

Police Officers must be held accountable.



10% of police officers account for 33.2% of all use-of-force incidents. (Christopher Commission)

Unfit officers must be exposed and dismissed or all officers are seen that way

Encourage The Public to Report Unprofessional Behavior


Speaking of unfit officers how scary is it to think an officer could be a member of a hate group which the FBI warned of back in 2006.  The following 2 links are proof that this is a reality https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/14/18679598/facebook-hate-groups-law-enforcement-police-officers-racism-islamaphobia

https://law.lclark.edu/live/files/28080-lcb231article2johnsonpdf 


Crystal ends her article saying the things I hoped to say in previous drafts magnificently. "We must come to a point as a society where human life has a value that is priceless. Although we cannot control how each individual values life, our police departments can have policies and procedures in place that do reflect this value. Justice doesn’t come from the shooting or beating of an unarmed individual who has committed a non-violent crime.

Of course police officers deserve to come home at the end of their shift every day. So does the Average Joe Citizen. This means we must all work together to find a way to make this happen.

Blue lives matter. Black lives matter. All lives mater. Some police departments are doing an exceptional job and should be commended. By following what they are doing right and taking that nationwide, the United States may be able to put a stop to the police brutality statistics like these."


Under each quote above we list one or in some cases two responses as answers. Below we will expound upon them but first watch this video that talks about community policing and how it has led to major improvements. Below that six additional answers resulting in seven things we hope to help instill in police departments nationwide that will drastically improve relations.

Check out this great video

Community Policing is the Answer

Mr Russell a man who has dedicated probably around 30 yrs to being a police officer and climbing to a very high level really has the answers in this video.  Although he doesn't know it he understands the vision of Love Unity Equality when it comes to police reform and is proof that what he has implemented works.  

He acknowledges  that law enforcement is in a crisis and there is a need for police reform.  Anyone who denies this is very simply in denial.  Just like us he has a passion to implement radical policing which we hope every high ranking police official across the country has.

He actually speaks of getting rid of the us vs. them mentality something that we preach. In this case meaning he understands that the police and the African American community do not have good relations.  That the only way for that to change is to get rid of the stinking thinking as he calls it or the old way of doing things.  That there is a need to not just protect the community but serve it and what we add to that is honor it as well.  

He understands the need to partner or unify with the community.  Which includes getting their perspective and finding out how they can truly be served and then doing it.  Interestingly when it was done crime when to an all time low.  He understand the perception of a police officer changes when he is seen as someone who truly cares for and serves his community.

He also understands the power of unity that the more people or groups working together the more successful we can be.  He falls right in line with us that churches should play a large roll and that reaching our youth is very important.  We hope to recruit Mr. Russell to head up this area because he has a passion for and believes we can create Love Unity Equality.

6 Additional answers

We Must Do Something to Protect The Rights of African Americans

This has much to do with what Love Unity Equality is all about so we start with it.  Many would argue that African Americans have only themselves to blame.  However if you look at the statistics above it is clear to see disproportionate numbers.   Could it be perception or prejudice or what many would argue a corrupt judicial system that African Americans are and always have been the targets.  The bottom line is the horrific results of what happens to often when African Americans  and the police get together.  African Americans understandably feel victimized because even one person who is a victim of police brutality or is incarcerated unjustly is too many. Therefore police departments have to be cognizant of this to improve relations with African American in particular.  

De-escalation Techniques Should Be Mandatory For All Police Officers.

Based on the above and the positive results that happened with the Dallas Police Dept.  who started this program, this is something that all police depts. need to implement asap.

Police Officers Must Be Held Accountable

No justice, no peace sums it up.  Perception becomes reality and the us and the them mentality sets in.  If one officer is guilty and not held accountable the perception  is all are guilty because all can get away with the same thing and not be held accountable.  A police officer is a high and important calling and must be held to the highest standards.  Carrying or wearing a badge does not make you above the law.  It can be argued that a police officer who commits a crime against an innocent citizen he has taken an oath to protect should be dealt with more severely than a standard citizen because he is doing the very thing he is called to stop.

Unfit Officers Must Be Exposed And Dismissed Or All Officers Are Seen That Way

A few bad apples truly can spoil the bunch.  Not everyone is meant to be a police officer.  The standards should be high to become one and to stay one. A four year degree in criminal justice, sociology, psychology, counseling or the like are great criteria to become one.  Few complaints and a love and passion for their work and the community, maintain good standing to stay one.

Police Should Be More Respected And Paid Better

To whom much is given much is required.  If officers were paid more it would attract greater interest.  Hence be able to hire only the best candidates creating better departments leading to better communities.  Of course the excuse of budget restraints always exists but officers particularly those who serve at risk communities deserve to be paid accordingly.  A police officer should be of the highest integrity and one who truly honors, serves, protects  and is an influential leader in the community will lead to more respect by the community.  This along with risking their life daily should make police officers one of our highest paid and most important professions.

Encourage The Public to Report Unprofessional Behavior

Just as many industries and professions encourage the public to critique them to improve their service the police should be no different.  Where their is smoke their is fire as the old saying goes.  Police departments have a responsibility to employ only officers who are professionals and of the highest integrity.  Letting the public know we have high standards will go along way.