Feds Say Police Brutality A Symptom Of A Flawed System
A new report from the U.S. Department of Justice has urged local police departments to hire and retain more officers of color in order to stem the rash of police-involved violence against unarmed people.
The report, “Advancing Diversity In Law Enforcement” was released Wednesday, and says the approximately 18,000 police departments in the United States can’t afford to ignore their race problem and their ranks must better reflect the communities they serve. The feds said its critical that police departments become more diverse, because the officers are often the face of local government in their communities.
The country has been rocked in recent years by police killing or maiming unarmed, mostly men of color, as well as rogue vigilantes who have murdered cops in revenge. In response, people have protested on both sides of the issue, and some demonstrations, like the protests last month in Charlotte, NC, have descended into looting and lawlessness.
But despite some police department’s efforts, hiring and retaining officers of color remains a challenge in part because minorities may not be aware that the police are hiring, potential recruits of color may already have strained relationships with police, antiquated screening processes can rule out qualified people and a lack of mentors for officers of color.
The report says that departments can fix this by better engaging with the community and shift the police department’s model to one that is community oriented. The police also must have a willingness to evaluate employment criteria to make it more inclusive and better target recruitment outreach to minority areas. Other recommendations include creating partnerships with schools and internship programs to create a pathway to employment and help counter negative encounters between police and young people.
Read the full report here.